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Tails, Fears, and Risk Premia

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  • TIM BOLLERSLEV
  • VIKTOR TODOROV

Abstract

We show that the compensation for rare events accounts for a large fraction of the average equity and variance risk premia. Exploiting the special structure of the jump tails and the pricing thereof we identify and estimate a new Investor Fears index. The index suggests both large and time-varying compensations for fears of disasters. Our empirical investigations are essentially model-free, involving new extreme value theory approximations and high-frequency intraday data for estimating the expected jump tails under the statistical probability measure, and short maturity out-of-the money options and new model-free implied variation measures for estimating the corresponding risk neutral expectations.
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Suggested Citation

  • Tim Bollerslev & Viktor Todorov, 2011. "Tails, Fears, and Risk Premia," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 2165-2211, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:66:y:2011:i:6:p:2165-2211
    DOI: j.1540-6261.2011.01695.x
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    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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