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

66 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2014  

Bryan T. Kelly

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; 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: January 10, 2014

Abstract

We empirically analyze the pricing of political uncertainty, guided by a theoretical model of government policy choice. After deriving the model’s predictions for option prices, we test those predictions in an international sample of national elections and global summits. We find that political uncertainty is priced in the option market in ways predicted by the theory. Options whose lives span political events tend to be more expensive. Such options provide valuable protection against the risk associated with political events, including not only price risk but also variance and tail risks. This protection is more valuable in a weaker economy as well as amid higher political uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

Kelly, Bryan T. and Pastor, Lubos and Veronesi, Pietro, The Price of Political Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence from the Option Market (January 10, 2014). Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics Working Paper No. 2014-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2378544

Bryan T. Kelly

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( 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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