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Why does implied risk aversion smile?


Ziegler, Alexandre (2007). Why does implied risk aversion smile? Review of Financial Studies, 20(2):859-904.

Abstract

Implied risk aversion estimates reported in the literature are strongly U-shaped. This article explores different potential explanations for these “smile” patterns: (i) preference aggregation, both with and without stochastic volatility and jumps in returns, (ii) misestimation of investors’ beliefs caused by stochastic volatility, jumps, or a Peso problem, and (iii) heterogeneous beliefs. The results reveal that preference aggregation and misestimation of investors’ beliefs caused by stochastic volatility and jumps are unlikely to be the explanation for the smile. Although a Peso problem can account for the smile, the required probability of a market crash is unrealistically large. Heterogeneous beliefs cause sizable distortions in implied risk aversion, but the degree of heterogeneity required to explain the smile is implausibly large.

Abstract

Implied risk aversion estimates reported in the literature are strongly U-shaped. This article explores different potential explanations for these “smile” patterns: (i) preference aggregation, both with and without stochastic volatility and jumps in returns, (ii) misestimation of investors’ beliefs caused by stochastic volatility, jumps, or a Peso problem, and (iii) heterogeneous beliefs. The results reveal that preference aggregation and misestimation of investors’ beliefs caused by stochastic volatility and jumps are unlikely to be the explanation for the smile. Although a Peso problem can account for the smile, the required probability of a market crash is unrealistically large. Heterogeneous beliefs cause sizable distortions in implied risk aversion, but the degree of heterogeneity required to explain the smile is implausibly large.

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30 citations in Web of Science®
30 citations in Scopus®
89 citations in Microsoft Academic
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Banking and Finance
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:21 May 2014 14:23
Last Modified:18 Feb 2018 13:13
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0893-9454
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/rfs/hhl023
Official URL:http://rfs.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/3/859.short
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:3578

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