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You have to remember that implied volatility comes from a "wrong" model to give the right answer. Option prices are determined by supply and demand (subject to a few arbitrage bounds). A higher implied volatility for OTM/ITM options relative to ATM options simply means that the prices of these options are higher than the Black-Scholes model would imply ...


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To expand on pbr142, If the implied volatility (vis. Black & Scholes) is persistently higher for short-expiry contracts away from the money, the problem is the model, not the thing that's modeled. The price of a contract at a given point in time is the "correct" price at that point in time (or we should move this to philosophy.stackexchange.com). So ...



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