Firm-specific risk-neutral distributions: The role of CDS spreads

Keywords: risk neutral distributions; CDS spreads; cross-section of expected returns
  • 25 Septiembre 2017

Por Sirio Aramonte, Mohammad R. Jahan-Parvar, Samuel Rosen y John W. Schindler

International Finance Discussion Papers 1212.


We propose a method to extract individual firms’ risk-neutral return distributions by combining options and credit default swaps (CDS). Options provide information about the central part of the distribution, and CDS anchor the left tail. Jointly, options and CDS span the intermediate part of the distribution, which is driven by moderatesized jump risk. We study the returns on a trading strategy that buys (sells) stocks exposed to positive (negative) moderate-sized jump risk unspanned by options or CDS individually. Controlling for many known factors, this strategy earns a 0.5% premium per month, highlighting the economic value of combining options and CDS.