Smiling less at LIFFE

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Abstract

This study investigates the structure of the implied volatility smile, using the prices of equity options traded on the LIFFE. First, the slope of the implied volatility curve is significantly negative for both individual stocks and index options, and the slope is less negative for longer-term options. The implied volatility skew can be described by risk-neutral skewness and kurtosis, with the former having the first-order effect. Moreover, the implied volatility skew for individual stock options is less severe than for index options. Finally, the relationship between the real and risk-neutral moments implied in option prices is significant. The results indicate that, for equity options traded on the LIFFE, the slope of the implied volatility skew is flatter than that on the Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE). © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 28:57–81, 2008

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