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Option market (in)efficiency and implied volatility dynamics after return jumps

Juho Kanniainen and Martin Magris

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Abstract: In informationally efficient financial markets, option prices and this implied volatility should immediately be adjusted to new information that arrives along with a jump in underlying's return, whereas gradual changes in implied volatility would indicate market inefficiency. Using minute-by-minute data on S&P 500 index options, we provide evidence regarding delayed and gradual movements in implied volatility after the arrival of return jumps. These movements are directed and persistent, especially in the case of negative return jumps. Our results are significant when the implied volatilities are extracted from at-the-money options and out-of-the-money puts, while the implied volatility obtained from out-of-the-money calls converges to its new level immediately rather than gradually. Thus, our analysis reveals that the implied volatility smile is adjusted to jumps in underlying's return asymmetrically. Finally, it would be possible to have statistical arbitrage in zero-transaction-cost option markets, but under actual option price spreads, our results do not imply abnormal option returns.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mst
Date: 2018-10
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