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Unconventional monetary policy announcements and risk aversion: evidence from the U.S. and European equity markets


  • Athanasios P. Fassas
  • Stephanos Papadamou


This paper examines the role of unconventional monetary policy announcements on risk aversion – as proxied by the variance premium – by using panel data analysis. The objective of this empirical analysis is to investigate the risk-taking channel of monetary policy for the major European and U.S. equity markets by studying the impact that the announcements of an unconventional monetary policy has on market uncertainty and risk perception. By measuring the difference between risk-neutral and realised and conditional variance, we estimate the variance premium, which captures the impact that pricing concerns have on the prices of options. The empirical analysis indicates that easing monetary policies can significantly reduce the variance premium. In addition, we examine the risk premium structure across markets to determine the potential differences in investors’ risk aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Athanasios P. Fassas & Stephanos Papadamou, 2018. "Unconventional monetary policy announcements and risk aversion: evidence from the U.S. and European equity markets," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(18), pages 1885-1901, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjfi:v:24:y:2018:i:18:p:1885-1901
    DOI: 10.1080/1351847X.2018.1496943

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