J. Cao and B. Han: Cross-Section of Option Returns and Idiosyncratic Stock Volatility

July 3, 2012

This paper documents a robust new finding that delta-hedged equity option return decreases monotonically with an increase in the idiosyncratic volatility of the underlying stock. This result can not be explained by standard risk factors. It is distinct from existing anomalies in the stock market or volatility-related option mispricing. It is consistent with market imperfections and constrained financial intermediaries. Dealers charge a higher premium for options on high idiosyncratic volatility stocks due to their higher arbitrage costs.