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Variance risk, financial intermediation, and the cross-section of expected option returns

Author

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  • Schürhoff, Norman
  • Ziegler, Alexandre

Abstract

We explore the pricing of variance risk by decomposing stocks' total variance into systematic and idiosyncratic return variances. While systematic variance risk exhibits a negative price of risk, common shocks to the variances of idiosyncratic returns carry a large positive risk premium. This implies investors pay for insurance against increases (declines) in systematic (idiosyncratic) variance, even though both variances comove countercyclically. Common idiosyncratic variance risk is an important determinant for the cross-section of expected option returns. These findings reconcile several phenomena, including the pricing differences between index and stock options, the cross-sectional variation in stock option expensiveness, the volatility mispricing puzzle, and the significant returns earned on various option portfolio strategies. Our results are consistent with theories of financial intermediation under capital constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Schürhoff, Norman & Ziegler, Alexandre, 2011. "Variance risk, financial intermediation, and the cross-section of expected option returns," CEPR Discussion Papers 8268, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8268
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Carr & Liuren Wu, 2004. "Variance Risk Premia," Finance 0409015, EconWPA.
    2. John Y. Campbell, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 1-43, February.
    3. Sentana, Enrique & Fiorentini, Gabriele, 2001. "Identification, estimation and testing of conditionally heteroskedastic factor models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 143-164, June.
    4. Andrew Ang & Robert J. Hodrick & Yuhang Xing & Xiaoyan Zhang, 2006. "The Cross-Section of Volatility and Expected Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 259-299, February.
    5. repec:wsi:ijtafx:v:14:y:2011:i:06:n:s0219024911006784 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Andrea Buraschi & Paolo Porchia & Fabio Trojani, 2010. "Correlation Risk and Optimal Portfolio Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(1), pages 393-420, February.
    7. Gurdip Bakshi & Nikunj Kapadia, 2003. "Delta-Hedged Gains and the Negative Market Volatility Risk Premium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 527-566.
    8. Joost Driessen & Pascal J. Maenhout & Grigory Vilkov, 2009. "The Price of Correlation Risk: Evidence from Equity Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1377-1406, June.
    9. Sentana, Enrique, 2004. "Factor representing portfolios in large asset markets," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 257-289, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Londono, Juan M. & Tian, Mary, 2014. "Bank Interventions and Options-based Systemic Risk: Evidence from the Global and Euro-area Crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 1117, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Kanne, Stefan & Korn, Olaf & Uhrig-Homburg, Marliese, 2016. "Stock Illiquidity, option prices, and option returns," CFR Working Papers 16-08, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    asset pricing; cross-section of option returns; financial intermediation; variance risk;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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