Empirical Pricing Kernels
Posted: 2 Jun 2003
This paper investigates the empirical characteristics of investor risk aversion over equity return states by estimating a time-varying pricing kernel, which we call the empirical pricing kernel (EPK). We estimate the EPK on a monthly basis from 1991 to 1995, using S&P 500 index option data and a stochastic volatility model for the S&P 500 return process. We find that the EPK exhibits counter cyclical risk aversion over S&P 500 return states. We also find that hedging performance is significantly improved when we use hedge ratios based the EPK rather than a time-invariant pricing kernel.
Keywords: Pricing kernels, Risk aversion, Derivatives, Hedging
JEL Classification: G12, G13, C50
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