Three essays on asset pricing

Zhiguang Wang, Florida International University


In this dissertation, I investigate three related topics on asset pricing: the consumption-based asset pricing under long-run risks and fat tails, the pricing of VIX (CBOE Volatility Index) options and the market price of risk embedded in stock returns and stock options. These three topics are fully explored in Chapter II through IV. Chapter V summarizes the main conclusions. In Chapter II, I explore the effects of fat tails on the equilibrium implications of the long run risks model of asset pricing by introducing innovations with dampened power law to consumption and dividends growth processes. I estimate the structural parameters of the proposed model by maximum likelihood. I find that the stochastic volatility model with fat tails can, without resorting to high risk aversion, generate implied risk premium, expected risk free rate and their volatilities comparable to the magnitudes observed in data. In Chapter III, I examine the pricing performance of VIX option models. The contention that simpler-is-better is supported by the empirical evidence using actual VIX option market data. I find that no model has small pricing errors over the entire range of strike prices and times to expiration. In general, Whaley’s Black-like option model produces the best overall results, supporting the simpler-is-better contention. However, the Whaley model does under/overprice out-of-the-money call/put VIX options, which is contrary to the behavior of stock index option pricing models. In Chapter IV, I explore risk pricing through a model of time-changed Lvy processes based on the joint evidence from individual stock options and underlying stocks. I specify a pricing kernel that prices idiosyncratic and systematic risks. This approach to examining risk premia on stocks deviates from existing studies. The empirical results show that the market pays positive premia for idiosyncratic and market jump-diffusion risk, and idiosyncratic volatility risk. However, there is no consensus on the premium for market volatility risk. It can be positive or negative. The positive premium on idiosyncratic risk runs contrary to the implications of traditional capital asset pricing theory.

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Recommended Citation

Wang, Zhiguang, "Three essays on asset pricing" (2009). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3393521.