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Credit default swap spreads and variance risk premia

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  • Hao Wang
  • Hao Zhou
  • Yi Zhou
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Abstract

We find that firm-level variance risk premium, estimated as the difference between option-implied and expected variances, has a prominent explanatory power for credit spreads in the presence of market- and firm-level risk control variables identified in the existing literature. Such a predictability complements that of the leading state variable--leverage ratio--and strengthens significantly with lower firm credit rating, longer credit contract maturity, and model-free implied variance. We provide further evidence that: (1) variance risk premium has a cleaner systematic component and Granger-causes implied and expected variances, (2) the cross-section of firms' variance risk premia seem to price the market variance risk correctly, and (3) a structural model with stochastic volatility can reproduce the predictability pattern of variance risk premia for credit spreads.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2011-02.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2011-02

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Keywords: Swaps (Finance) ; Risk;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Martijn Cremers & Joost Driessen & Pascal Maenhout & David Weinbaum, 2004. "Individual Stock-Option Prices and Credit Spreads," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2391, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jan 2005.
  2. Tim Bollerslev & Hao Zhou, 2007. "Expected Stock Returns and Variance Risk Premia," CREATES Research Papers 2007-17, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  3. Benjamin Yibin Zhang & Hao Zhou & Haibin Zhu, 2009. "Explaining Credit Default Swap Spreads with the Equity Volatility and Jump Risks of Individual Firms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(12), pages 5099-5131, December.
  4. Jan Ericsson & Kris Jacobs & Rodolfo A. Oviedo, 2004. "The Determinants of Credit Default Swap Premia," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-55, CIRANO.
  5. Harjoat S. Bhamra & Lars-Alexander Kuehn & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2010. "The Levered Equity Risk Premium and Credit Spreads: A Unified Framework," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(2), pages 645-703, February.
  6. Long Chen & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2009. "On the Relation Between the Credit Spread Puzzle and the Equity Premium Puzzle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(9), pages 3367-3409, September.
  7. Roberto Blanco & Simon Brennan & Ian W. Marsh, 2004. "An empirical analysis of the dynamic relationship between investment grade bonds and credit default swaps," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0401, Banco de Espa�a.
  8. Peter Carr & Liuren Wu, 2004. "Variance Risk Premia," Finance 0409015, EconWPA.
  9. Hui Chen, 2010. "Macroeconomic Conditions and the Puzzles of Credit Spreads and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2171-2212, December.
  10. Hao Zhou, 2010. "Variance risk premia, asset predictability puzzles, and macroeconomic uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Peter Carr & Liuren Wu, 2010. "Stock Options and Credit Default Swaps: A Joint Framework for Valuation and Estimation," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 8(4), pages 409-449, Fall.
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