The purpose of this paper is to examine the spillover effects in international financial markets related to investors’ risk aversion as proxied by the variance premium, and how these relationships were affected by the quantitative easing (QE) announcements by the Federal Reserve.Design/methodology/approachThe empirical analysis employs a multivariate exponential generalized autoregressive conditionally heteroskedastic (VAR-EGARCH) specification, which includes the USA, the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland.FindingsTwo main findings are raised from the empirical analysis. First, the VAR-EGARCH model identifies statistically significant spillover effects identifying the USA as the leading source driving investors’ risk aversion. Second, unconventional monetary easing announcement by the Fed has had significant effects on investors’ risk perspectives.Practical implicationsAccounting for the dynamic volatility of variance premium inter-dependencies, the authors show that the correlations among variance premia increase during the QE announcements by the Federal Reserve, suggesting a herding behavior that may potentially lead to stock price bubbles and undermine financial stability.Originality/valueThis is an empirical attempt that investigates the unexplored effects of unconventional monetary policy decisions in relation with investors’ attitudes toward risk.
Review of Behavioral Finance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 12, 2020
Keywords: Risk aversion; Variance premium; Dynamic conditional correlation; Quantitative easing; E52; E58; G12; G13