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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractI investigate the information content in the implied volatility spread, which is the spread in implied volatilities between a pair of call and put options with the same strike price and time-to-maturity. By constructing the implied volatility time series for each stock, I show that stocks with larger implied volatility spreads tend to have higher future returns during 2003-2013. I also find that even volatilities implied from untraded options contain such information about future stock performance. The trading strategy based on the information contained in the actively traded options does not necessarily outperform its counterpart derived from the untraded options. This is inconsistent with the previous research suggesting that the information contained in the implied volatility spread largely results from the price pressure induced by informed trading in option markets. Further analysis suggests that option illiquidity is associated with the implied volatility spread, and the magnitude of this spread contains information about the risk-neutral distribution of the underlying stock return. A larger spread is associated with smaller risk-neutral variance, more negative risk-neutral skewness, and seemingly larger risk-neutral kurtosis, and this association is primarily driven by the systematic components in risk-neutral higher moments. I design a calibration study which reveals that the non-normality of the underlying risk-neutral return distribution relative to the Brownian motion can give rise to the implied volatility spread through the channel of early exercise premium.
Degree ProgramGraduate College