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Mispricing of S&P 500 Index Options

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  • Stylianos Perrakis
  • Jens Carsten Jackwerth
  • George Constantinides

Abstract

We document widespread violations of stochastic dominance in the one-month S&P 500 index options market over the period 1986-2002. These violations imply that a trader can improve her expected utility by engaging in a zero-net-cost trade. We allow the market to be incomplete and also imperfect by introducing transactions costs and bid-ask spreads. There is higher incidence of violations by OTM than by ITM calls, contradicting the common inference drawn from the observed implied volatility smile that the problem lies with the left-hand tail of the index return distribution. Even though pre-crash option prices conform to the BSM model reasonably well, they are incorrectly priced. Over 1997-2002, many options, particularly OTM calls, are overpriced irrespective of which time period is used to determine the index return distribution. These results do not support the hypothesis that the options market is becoming more rational over time. Finally, our results dispel another common misconception, that the observed smile is too steep after the crash: most of the violations by post-crash options are due to the options being either underpriced over 1988-1995, or overpriced over 1997-2002.

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Paper provided by Warwick Business School, Finance Group in its series Working Papers with number wp05-07.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbs:wpaper:wp05-07

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  1. Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, 2000. "Nonparametric Risk Management and Implied Risk Aversion," NBER Working Papers 6130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert R. Bliss & Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, 2004. "Option-Implied Risk Aversion Estimates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 407-446, 02.
  3. Yacine Aït-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, . "Nonparametric Estimation of State-Price Densities Implicit in Financial Asset Prices," CRSP working papers 332, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  4. Nicolas P. B. Bollen & Robert E. Whaley, 2004. "Does Net Buying Pressure Affect the Shape of Implied Volatility Functions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 711-753, 04.
  5. Bernard Bensaid & Jean-Philippe Lesne & Henri Pagès & José Scheinkman, 1992. "Derivative Asset Pricing With Transaction Costs," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 63-86.
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Cited by:
  1. Perrakis, Stylianos & Boloorforoosh, Ali, 2013. "Valuing catastrophe derivatives under limited diversification: A stochastic dominance approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3157-3168.
  2. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. George M. Constantinides & Michal Czerwonko & Jens Carsten Jackwerth & Stylianos Perrakis, 2010. "Are Options on Index Futures Profitable for Risk Averse Investors? Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 16302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jens Carsten Jackwerth & George M. Constantinaides & Stylianos Perrakis, 2005. "Option Pricing: Real and Risk-Neutral Distributions," CoFE Discussion Paper 05-06, Center of Finance and Econometrics, University of Konstanz.
  5. Wolfgang Härdle & Volker Krätschmer & Rouslan Moro, 2009. "A Microeconomic Explanation of the EPK Paradox," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-010, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  6. Jules H. van Binsbergen & Michael W. Brandt & Ralph S.J. Koijen, 2010. "On the Timing and Pricing of Dividends," NBER Working Papers 16455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Beare, Brendan K. & Schmidt, Lawrence, 2011. "An Empirical Test of Pricing Kernel Monotonicity," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5572n8pc, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  8. Urcola, Hernan A. & Irwin, Scott H., 2011. "Are Agricultural Options Overpriced?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(1), April.
  9. Luca Regis & Simone Scotti, 2008. "Risk Premium Impact in the Perturbative Black Scholes Model," Papers 0806.0307, arXiv.org.
  10. Nicolae Garleanu & Lasse Heje Pedersen & Allen M. Poteshman, 2005. "Demand-Based Option Pricing," NBER Working Papers 11843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alfredo Ibáñez, 2008. "The cross-section of average delta-hedge option returns under stochastic volatility," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 205-244, October.
  12. Peters, R. & van der Weide, R., 2012. "Volatility: Expectations and Realizations," CeNDEF Working Papers 12-04, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.

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