J. Jackwerth, G. Vilkov: Asymmetric Volatility Risk: Evidence from Option Markets

February 20, 2013

We show how to extract the expected risk-neutral correlation between risk-neutral distributions of the market index (S&P 500) return and its expected volatility (VIX). Comparing the implied correlation with its realized counterpart reveals a significant index-to-volatility correlation risk premium. It compensates for the fear of rising and enduring volatility due to market crashes and measures a new dimension of risk not covered by other variables. The correlation risk premium asymmetrically focuses on tail risk, unlike the variance risk premium.