J. Londono, N. Xu: Variance Risk Premium Components and International Stock Return Predictability

July 19, 2019

In this paper, we document and explain the distinct behaviors of U.S. downside and upside variance risk premiums (DVP and UVP, respectively) and their international stock return predictability patterns. DVP, the compensation for bearing downside variance risk, is positive, highly correlated with the total variance premium, and countercyclical, whereas UVP is, on average, borderline positive and procyclical with large negative spikes around episodes of market turmoil. We then provide robust evidence that decomposing VP into its downside and upside components significantly improves domestic and international stock return predictability.