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I've noticed that for a given strike price, the shorter expiration dates of options have more pronounced volatilities

why is that?

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Are you looking at any class of options in particular? –  Phil H Feb 17 at 10:52
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"more pronounced volatilities" - with relation to what? Which volatilities do you compare to which? –  sashkello Feb 18 at 1:26
    
in relation to options with the exact same strike price and underlying asset just of a later month or expiry –  user7265 Feb 18 at 3:08
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1 Answer

What you suggest is mainly true in times of stress. The shorter maturity deals are priced with larger implied volatility to incorporate the short term volatility in the market.

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The situation is in reverse for the period of relative calm (in fact, it is more often the case, when the "contango" is observed). –  sashkello Feb 18 at 1:28
    
As far as I know this also has some mathematical background. Short maturity out the money options would be almost worthless in the B&S model. Still the market often gives you positive prices. If you back out the implied vol from these it has to be quite large, so that the price makes sense in B&S setting. –  Probilitator Feb 18 at 9:28
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