M. Ammann, D. Skovmand, and M. Verhofen: Implied and Realized Volatility in the Cross-Section of Equity Options

November 1, 2008

Using a complete sample of US equity options, we analyze patterns of implied volatility in the cross-section of equity options with respect to stock characteristics. We find that high-beta stocks, small stocks, stocks with a low-market-to-book ratio, and non-momentum stocks trade at higher implied volatilities after controlling for historical volatility. We find evidence that implied volatility overestimates realized volatility for low-beta stocks, small caps, low-market-to-book stocks, and stocks with no momentum and vice versa.