October 1, 2020
Liquidity provision is a bet against private information: if private information turns out to be higher than expected, liquidity providers lose. Since information generates volatility, and volatility co-moves across assets, liquidity providers have a negative exposure to aggregate volatility shocks. As aggregate volatility shocks carry a very large premium in option markets, this negative exposure can explain why liquidity provision earns high average returns. We show this by incorporating uncertainty about the amount of private information into an otherwise standard model.