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Moral Hazard and the US Stock Market: Analysing the "Greenspan Put"

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  • Marcus Miller

    (University of Warwick and CEPR)

  • Paul Weller

    (University of Iowa)

  • Lei Zhang

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

When the risk premium in the US stock market fell substantially, Shiller (2000) attributed this to a bubble driven by psychological factors. An alternative explanation is that the observed risk premium may be reduced by one-sided intervention policy on the part of the Federal Reserve which leads investors into the erroneous belief that they are insured against downside risk. By allowing for partial credibility and state dependent risk aversion, we show that this "insurance" — referred to as the Greenspan put — is consistent with the observation that implied volatility rises as the market falls. Our bubble is not so much "irrational exuberance" as exaggerated faith in the stabilising power of Mr. Greenspan. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Miller & Paul Weller & Lei Zhang, 2002. "Moral Hazard and the US Stock Market: Analysing the "Greenspan Put"," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 171-186, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:478:p:c171-c186
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    References listed on IDEAS

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