The Information Content of Option-Implied Volatility for Credit Default Swap Valuation
Pennsylvania State University
Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance
September 9, 2009
FDIC Center for Financial Research, Working Paper No. 2007-08
Credit default swaps (CDS) are similar to out-of-the-money put options in that both offer a low cost and effective protection against downside risk. This study investigates whether put option-implied volatility is an important determinant of CDS pricing. Using a large sample of firms with both CDS and options data, we find that individual firms' put option-implied volatility dominates historical volatility in explaining the time-series variation in CDS spreads. To understand this result, we show that implied volatility is a more efficient forecast for future realized volatility than historical volatility. More importantly, the volatility risk premium embedded in option prices covaries with the CDS spread. These findings complement existing empirical evidence based on market-level data.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Credit default swap spread, option-implied volatility, volatility risk premium, informed trading
JEL Classification: G13, G14working papers series
Date posted: March 11, 2006 ; Last revised: November 15, 2012
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