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The Economics of Options-Implied Inflation Probability Density Functions

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan Wright

    (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Yuriy Kitsul

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

Recently a market in options based on CPI inflation (inflation caps and floors) has emerged in the US. This paper uses quotes on these derivatives to construct probability densities for inflation. We study how these pdfs respond to news announcments, and ÃÂfind that the implied odds of deflation are sensitive to certain macroeconomic news releases. We compare the option-implied probability densities with those obtained by time series methods, and use this information to construct empirical pricing kernels. The options-implied densities assign considerably more mass to extreme inflation outcomes (either deflation or high inflation) than do their time series counterparts. This yields a U-shaped empirical pricing kernel, with investors having high marginal utility in states of the world characterized by either deflation or high inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Wright & Yuriy Kitsul, 2012. "The Economics of Options-Implied Inflation Probability Density Functions," 2012 Meeting Papers 174, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:174
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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