An option-based approach to measuring disclosure asymmetry

55 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2017 Last revised: 17 Dec 2021

See all articles by Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Date Written: December 15, 2021


In this paper, I develop a measure of the difference in the amount of information that investors expect a forthcoming disclosure to contain should it reveal good news versus bad news (the disclosure's ``asymmetry''). To do so, I first show that the disclosure's asymmetry is linked to the skewness of returns that it creates. I then show that this skewness can be measured using a weighted change in option-implied return skewness leading up to the disclosure's release. The measure's ability to capture investors' prior beliefs regarding asymmetry is advantageous when studying ex-ante decisions including contracting and information acquisition choices. I implement it on a sample of large firms' quarterly earnings announcements, finding evidence that investors anticipate cross-sectional, but not time-series variation in earnings' asymmetry.

Keywords: Option prices, disclosure, asymmetry, earnings announcements, model-free implied skewness

JEL Classification: M41, G12, G13, G14, D83

Suggested Citation

Smith, Kevin, An option-based approach to measuring disclosure asymmetry (December 15, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Kevin Smith (Contact Author)

Stanford University Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics