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The Information Content of Corridor Volatility Measures During Calm and Turmoil Periods

1 Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2 Department of Economics, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
3 Department of Economics and CEFIN, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

Special Issue: Volatility of Prices of Financial Assets

Measurement of volatility is of paramount importance in finance because of the effects on risk measurement and risk management. Corridor implied volatility measures allow us to disentangle the volatility of positive returns from that of negative returns, providing investors with additional information beyond standard market volatility. The aim of the paper is twofold. First, to propose different types of corridor implied volatility and some combinations of them as risk indicators, in order to provide useful information about investors’ sentiment and future market returns. Second, to investigate their usefulness in prediction of market returns under different market conditions (with a particular focus on the subprime crisis and the European debt crisis). The data set consists of daily index options traded on the Italian market and covers the 2005–2014 period. We find that upside corridor implied volatility measure embeds the highest information content about contemporaneous market returns, claiming the superiority of call options in measuring current sentiment in the market. Moreover, both upside and downside volatilities can be considered as barometers of investors’ fear. The volatility measures proposed have forecasting power on future returns only during high volatility periods and in particular during the European debt crisis. The explanatory power on future market returns improves when two of the proposed volatility measures are combined together in the same model.
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