September 21, 2018
We seek to reconcile the debate about the price effect of risk-neutral skewness (RNS) on stocks. We document positive predictability from short-term skewness, consistent with informed-trading demand, and negative predictability from long-term skewness, consistent with skewness preference. A term spread on RNS captures different information from long- and short-term contracts, resulting in stronger predictability. The quintile portfolio with the lowest spread outperforms that with highest spread by 14.64% annually. The term structure of RNS predicts earnings surprises and price crashes.