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How does the market variance risk premium vary over time? Evidence from S&P 500 variance swap investment returns

Eirini Konstantinidi and George Skiadopoulos

Journal of Banking & Finance, 2016, vol. 62, issue C, 62-75

Abstract: We explore whether the market variance risk premium (VRP) can be predicted. We measure VRP by distinguishing the investment horizon from the variance swap’s maturity. We extract VRP from actual S&P 500 variance swap quotes and we test four classes of predictive models. We find that the best performing model is the one that conditions on trading activity. This relation is also economically significant. Volatility trading strategies which condition on trading activity outperform popular benchmark strategies, even once we consider transaction costs. Our finding implies that broker dealers command a greater VRP to continue holding short positions in index options in the case where trading conditions deteriorate.

Keywords: Funding illiquidity; Predictability; Variance swaps; Variance risk premium; Volatility trading (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G13 G17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Working Paper: How Does the Market Variance Risk Premium Vary over Time? Evidence from S&P 500 Variance Swap Investment Returns (2014) Downloads
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