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Real Options, Idiosyncratic Skewness, and Diversification

Del Viva, Luca; Kasanen, Eero; Trigeorgis, Lenos


Luca Del Viva

Eero Kasanen


We show how firm-level real options lead to idiosyncratic skewness in stock returns. We then document empirically that growth option variables are positive and significant determinants of idiosyncratic skewness. The real option impact on skewness is more significant in firms with lottery-type features, small size, high volatility, distressed, low return on assets, and low book-to-market ratio. We also find that expectation on idiosyncratic skewness is associated with lower Sharpe ratios. This suggests investors are willing to sacrifice mean-variance portfolio efficiency for greater skewness deriving from real options. Furthermore, financial flexibility has a positive incremental effect, enhancing the beneficial role of asset flexibility on idiosyncratic skewness.


Del Viva, L., Kasanen, E., & Trigeorgis, L. (2017). Real Options, Idiosyncratic Skewness, and Diversification. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 52(1), 215-241.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Feb 8, 2017
Publication Date 2017-02
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2023
Journal Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
Print ISSN 0022-1090
Electronic ISSN 1756-6916
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Volume 52
Issue 1
Pages 215-241
Public URL