Model Specification and Risk Premia: Evidence from Futures Options
71 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2004
Date Written: May 12, 2005
This paper examines specification issues and estimates volatility and jump risk premia using the information in the cross-section of S&P futures options from 1987 to 2003. We first test for the presence of jumps in volatility by analyzing the higher moment behavior of option implied variance, and we find strong evidence supporting their presence. Based on cross-sectional fit, we find strong evidence for jumps in prices, and modest evidence for jumps in volatility. Regarding the factor risk premiums, we are not able to identify a statistically significant volatility risk premium, but are able to identify statistically significant, although modest jump risk premiums. The jump risk premiums are economically meaningful as they contribute a significant component to the equity risk premium and can explain observed put returns.
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