Implied Exchange Rate Distributions: Evidence from OTC Option Markets

54 Pages Posted: 25 May 2006 Last revised: 21 May 2018

See all articles by José Manuel Campa

José Manuel Campa

University of Navarra - Madrid Campus - IESE Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

P. H. Kevin Chang

Credit Suisse AG - London Headquarters

Robert L. Reider

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Date Written: September 1997

Abstract

This paper uses a rich new data set of option prices on the dollar-mark, dollar-yen, and key EMS cross-rates to extract the entire risk-neutral probability density function (pdf) over horizons of one and three months. We compare three alternative smoothing methods---cubic splines, an implied binomial tree (trimmed and untrimmed), and a mixture of lognormals---for transforming option data into the pdf. Despite their methodological ifferences, the three approaches lead to a similar pdf distinct from the lognormal benchmark, and usually characterized by skewness and leptokurtosis. We then document a striking positive correlation between skewness in these pdfs and the spot rate. The stronger a currency the more expectations are skewed towards a further appreciation of that currency. We interpret this finding as a rejection that these exchange rates evolve as a martingale, or that they follow a credible target zone, explicit or implicit. Instead, this this positive correlation is consistent with target zones with endogenous realignment risk. We discuss two interpretations of our results on skewness: when a currency is stronger, the actual probability of further large appreciation is higher, or because of risk, such states are valued more highly.

Suggested Citation

Campa, José Manuel and Chang, P.H. Kevin and Reider, Robert L., Implied Exchange Rate Distributions: Evidence from OTC Option Markets (September 1997). NBER Working Paper No. w6179. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225937

José Manuel Campa (Contact Author)

University of Navarra - Madrid Campus - IESE Business School ( email )

Camino del Cerro del Aguila 3
Madrid, 28023
Spain
+34 91 357 0809 (Phone)
+34 91 357 2913 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

P.H. Kevin Chang

Credit Suisse AG - London Headquarters ( email )

One Cabot Square
London E14 4QJ
United Kingdom
+44 171 888 8535 (Phone)
+44 171 888 4775 (Fax)

Robert L. Reider

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

522 Fifth Ave., 9th Floor
New York, NY 10036
United States

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