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Author:Zhou, Hao 

Working Paper
Dynamic estimation of volatility risk premia and investor risk aversion from option-implied and realized volatilities

This paper proposes a method for constructing a volatility risk premium, or investor risk aversion, index. The method is intuitive and simple to implement, relying on the sample moments of the recently popularized model-free realized and option-implied volatility measures. A small-scale Monte Carlo experiment suggests that the procedure works well in practice. Implementing the procedure with actual S&P 500 option-implied volatilities and high-frequency five-minute-based realized volatilities results in significant temporal dependencies in the estimated stochastic volatility risk premium, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2004-56

Working Paper
Variance risk premia, asset predictability puzzles, and macroeconomic uncertainty

This paper presents predictability evidence from the difference between implied and expected variances or variance risk premium that: (1) the variance difference measure predicts a significant positive risk premium across equity, bond, and credit markets; (2) the predictability is short-run, in that it peaks around one to four months and dies out as the horizon increases; and (3) such a short-run predictability is complementary to that of the standard predictor variables--P/E ratio, forward spread, and short rate. These findings are potentially justifiable by a general equilibrium model with ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-14

Working Paper
Credit default swap spreads and variance risk premia

We find that firm-level variance risk premium, estimated as the difference between option-implied and expected variances, has a prominent explanatory power for credit spreads in the presence of market- and firm-level risk control variables identified in the existing literature. Such a predictability complements that of the leading state variable--leverage ratio--and strengthens significantly with lower firm credit rating, longer credit contract maturity, and model-free implied variance. We provide further evidence that: (1) variance risk premium has a cleaner systematic component and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2011-02

Working Paper
Estimating stochastic volatility diffusion using conditional moments of integrated volatility

We exploit the distributional information contained in high-frequency intraday data in constructing a simple conditional moment estimator for stochastic volatility diffusions. The estimator is based on the analytical solutions of the first two conditional moments for the latent integrated volatility, the realization of which is effectively approximated by the sum of the squared high-frequency increments of the process. Our simulation evidence indicates that the resulting GMM estimator is highly reliable and accurate. Our empirical implementation based on high-frequency five-minute foreign ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2001-49

Working Paper
Assessing the systemic risk of a heterogeneous portfolio of banks during the recent financial crisis

This paper extends the approach of measuring and stress-testing the systemic risk of a banking sector in Huang, Zhou, and Zhu (2009) to identifying various sources of financial instability and to allocating systemic risk to individual financial institutions. The systemic risk measure, defined as the insurance cost to protect against distressed losses in a banking system, is a risk-neutral concept of capital based on publicly available information that can be appropriately aggregated across different subsets. An application of our methodology to a portfolio of twenty-two major banks in Asia ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-44

Working Paper
Specification analysis of structural credit risk models

In this paper we conduct a specification analysis of structural credit risk models, using term structure of credit default swap (CDS) spreads and equity volatility from high-frequency return data. Our study provides consistent econometric estimation of the pricing model parameters and specification tests based on the joint behavior of time-series asset dynamics and cross-sectional pricing errors. Our empirical tests reject strongly the standard Merton (1974) model, the Black and Cox (1976) barrier model, and the Longstaff and Schwartz (1995) model with stochastic interest rates. The double ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2008-55

Working Paper
Ambiguity Aversion and Variance Premium

This paper offers an ambiguity-based interpretation of variance premium?the difference between risk-neutral and objective expectations of market return variance?as a compounding effect of both belief distortion and variance differential regarding the uncertain economic regimes. Our approach endogenously generates variance premium without imposing exogenous stochastic volatility or jumps in consumption process. Such a framework can reasonably match the mean variance premium as well as the mean equity premium, equity volatility, and the mean risk-free rate in the data. We find that about 96 ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2018-14

Working Paper
Realized jumps on financial markets and predicting credit spreads

This paper extends the jump detection method based on bi-power variation to identify realized jumps on financial markets and to estimate parametrically the jump intensity, mean, and variance. Finite sample evidence suggests that jump parameters can be accurately estimated and that the statistical inferences can be reliable, assuming that jumps are rare and large. Applications to equity market, treasury bond, and exchange rate reveal important differences in jump frequencies and volatilities across asset classes over time. For investment grade bond spread indices, the estimated jump volatility ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2006-35

Working Paper
Stock-Bond Return Correlation, Bond Risk Premium Fundamentals, and Fiscal-Monetary Policy Regime

We incorporate regime switching between monetary and fiscal policies in a general equilibrium model to explain three stylized facts: (1) the positive stock-bond return correlation from 1971 to 2000 and the negative one after 2000, (2) the negative correlation between consumption and inflation from 1971 to 2000 and the positive one after 2000, and (3) the coexistence of positive bond risk premiums and the negative stock-bond return correlation. We show that two distinctive shocks—the technology and investment shocks—drive positive and negative stock-bond return correlations under two ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-19

Working Paper
Expected stock returns and variance risk premia

We find that the difference between implied and realized variances, or the variance risk premium, is able to explain more than fifteen percent of the ex-post time series variation in quarterly excess returns on the market portfolio over the 1990 to 2005 sample period, with high (low) premia predicting high (low) future returns. The magnitude of the return predictability of the variance risk premium easily dominates that afforded by standard predictor variables like the P/E ratio, the dividend yield, the default spread, and the consumption-wealth ratio (CAY). Moreover, combining the variance ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2007-11


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