Market Price of Variance Risk and Performance of Hedge Funds
50 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2005
Date Written: March 2004
This paper implements a model-free approach to measure the market price of the variance risk. In this approach, the value of the variance contract is estimated from prices of traded options. We find that the variance risk is priced, its risk premium is negative and economically very large. In the application to hedge funds, we argue that the variance return is a key determinant in explaining performance of hedge funds. Most hedge funds exhibit negative exposure to the variance return, implying that they routinely "sell" the variance risk. The variance risk factor accounts for a considerable portion of hedge fund historical returns.
Keywords: Variance risk, option valuation, risk-neutral density, stochastic volatility, hedge funds
JEL Classification: G12, G13, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation