Confidence Building on Euro Convergence: Theory and Evidence from Currency Options
Enrico C. Perotti
University of Amsterdam - Finance Group; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Tinbergen Institute
Tilburg University - Department of Finance; CentER Tilburg University
Using a unique dataset of currency option prices, we study the evolution of investor confidence in 1992-1998 over the chance of individual currencies to converge to the Euro. Convergence risk, which may reflect uncertainty over policy commitment as well as exogenous fundamentals, induces a level of implied volatility in excess of actual volatility (volatility wedge). We show formally that confidence grows over time as convergence policy is maintained, and the risk of a reversal is progressively resolved. Empirically, we indeed find a positive volatility wedge only for those currencies involved in convergence, which declines over time. The wedge is correlated with both exogenous fundamentals and proxies for policy commitment uncertainty. We also find that the wedge responds to policy shocks in an asymmetric fashion, suggesting that policy risk is resolved at different rates after negative and positive shocks, as the confidence building model suggests. Finally, we estimate a regime-switching model of convergence uncertainty, using data on interest rates, currency rates, and currency option prices. The results confirm the time-varying and asymmetric nature of convergence risk, and indicate that investors demand a risk premium for convergence risk.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Keywords: Euro, exchange rate, credibility, option pricing, regime switching, implied volatility, convergence
JEL Classification: F3, G15working papers series
Date posted: November 19, 2003
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