The effect of the initiation of e-mini stock index futures (ESIFs) on the volatility components of S&P 500 stock index futures is herein investigated. The study decomposes S&P 500 stock index-related observed volatilities into unobserved fundamental volatility and transitory noise and utilizes the decomposition to test two hypotheses: the “clientele factor hypothesis” and the “information adjustment hypothesis”. The first hypothesis proposes that the ESIFs attract more noisy traders who prefer trading the friendly-size futures contracts. The second one proposes that the innovations of ESIFs improve the information flow of the futures markets. Using a stochastic volatility model, the empirical results are consistent with both of our proposed hypotheses.
Journal of International Financial Markets,Institutions and Money, 17(2), 198-211