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The Price of Political Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence from the Option Market

69 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2013 Last revised: 26 Jun 2016

Bryan T. Kelly

University of Chicago - Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Lubos Pastor

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Pietro Veronesi

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 29, 2015

Abstract

We empirically analyze the pricing of political uncertainty, guided by a theoretical model of government policy choice. To isolate political uncertainty, we exploit its variation around national elections and global summits. We find that political uncertainty is priced in the equity option market as predicted by theory. Options whose lives span political events tend to be more expensive. Such options provide valuable protection against the price, variance, and tail risks associated with political events. This protection is more valuable in a weaker economy and amid higher political uncertainty. The effects of political uncertainty spill over across countries.

Keywords: political uncertainty, options, elections, summits, variance risk, tail risk

JEL Classification: G12, G18

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Bryan T. and Pastor, Lubos and Veronesi, Pietro, The Price of Political Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence from the Option Market (October 29, 2015). Fama-Miller Working Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2356588 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2356588

Bryan T. Kelly

University of Chicago - Finance ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-8359 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Lubos Pastor (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-4080 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ChicagoGSB.edu/fac/lubos.pastor/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Pietro Veronesi

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-6348 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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