Is Idiosyncratic Volatility Priced in Commodity Futures Markets?
30 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2012 Last revised: 20 May 2019
Date Written: May 23, 2016
This article investigates the relationship between expected returns and past idiosyncratic volatility in commodity futures markets. Measuring the idiosyncratic volatility of 27 commodity futures contracts with traditional pricing models that fail to account for backwardation and contango leads to the puzzling finding that idiosyncratic volatility is significantly negatively priced cross-sectionally. However, idiosyncratic volatility is not priced when the phases of backwardation and contango are suitably factored in the pricing model. A time-series portfolio analysis similarly suggests that failing to recognize the fundamental risk associated with the inexorable phases of backwardation and contango leads to overstated profitability of the idiosyncratic volatility mimicking portfolios.
Keywords: Commodity futures; Idiosyncratic volatility; Backwardation; Contango
JEL Classification: G13, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation