What Makes the VIX Tick?
City University of New York, CUNY City College of New York - Department of Economics and Business
Xiamen University - Department of Finance
February 27, 2014
We study minute-by-minute behavior of the VIX index and trading activity in the underlying S&P 500 options to understand the impact of macro and microeconomic forces on risk neutral volatility. VIX often increases with macroeconomic news, reflects the credibility of Fed monetary stimulus, and behaves differently before, during, and after the financial crisis. Comparing VIX to its estimated variance risk premium reveals divergences between uncertainty and risk aversion. The most prominent feature of the dynamics of VIX is mean reversion. This is consistent with liquidity provision which weakens during the financial crisis and is partly related to news arrival.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 61
Keywords: VIX, implied volatility, volatility risk premium, macroeconomic news, policy uncertainty
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G13
Date posted: September 9, 2012 ; Last revised: February 27, 2014