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Implied Volatility Duration: A Measure for the Timing of Uncertainty Resolution

We introduce Implied Volatility Duration (IVD) as a new measure for the timing of uncertainty resolution, with a high IVD corresponding to late resolution. Portfolio sorts on a large cross-section of stocks indicate that investors demand on average about seven percent return per year as a compensation for a late resolution of uncertainty. In a general equilibrium model, we show that `late' stocks can only have higher expected returns than `early' stocks if the investor exhibits a preference for early resolution of uncertainty. Our empirical analysis thus provides a purely market-based assessment of the timing preferences of the marginal investor.
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