Credit Variance Risk Premiums
European Financial Management, Forthcoming
50 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2019 Last revised: 12 Sep 2022
Date Written: July 1, 2021
This paper studies variance risk premiums in the credit market using a novel data set of swaptions quotes on the CDX North America Investment Grade and High Yield indices. The returns of credit variance swaps are negative and economically large, irrespective of the credit rating class. They are robust to transaction costs and cannot be explained by established risk factors and structural model variables. We also dissect the overall variance risk premium into receiver and payer variance risk premiums. We show that credit variance risk premiums are mainly driven by the payer corridor, which is associated with worsening macroeconomic conditions.
Keywords: Variance risk premium, CDS implied volatility, CDS variance swap
JEL Classification: G12
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