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Can standard preferences explain the prices of out-of-the-money S&P 500 put options?

Author

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  • Luca Benzoni
  • Pierre Collin-Dufresne
  • Robert S. Goldstein

Abstract

The 1987 stock market crash occurred with minimal impact on observable economic variables (e.g., consumption), yet dramatically and permanently changed the shape of the implied volatility curve for equity index options. Here, we propose a general equilibrium model that captures many salient features of the U.S. equity and options markets before, during, and after the crash. The representative agent is endowed with Epstein-Zin preferences and the aggregate dividend and consumption processes are driven by a persistent stochastic growth variable that can jump. In reaction to a market crash, the agent updates her beliefs about the distribution of the jump component. We identify a realistic calibration of the model that matches the prices of shortmaturity at-the-money and deep out-of-the-money S&P 500 put options, as well as the prices of individual stock options. Further, the model generates a steep shift in the implied volatility ‘smirk’ for S&P 500 options after the 1987 crash. This ‘regime shift’ occurs in spite of a minimal impact on observable macroeconomic fundamentals. Finally, the model’s implications are consistent with the empirical properties of dividends, the equity premium, as well as the level and standard deviation of the risk-free rate. Overall, our findings show that it is possible to reconcile the stylized properties of the equity and option markets in the framework of rational expectations, consistent with the notion that these two markets are integrated.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2011. "Can standard preferences explain the prices of out-of-the-money S&P 500 put options?," Working Paper Series WP-2011-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2011-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David Backus & Mikhail Chernov & Ian Martin, 2011. "Disasters Implied by Equity Index Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1969-2012, December.
    2. Tim Bollerslev & Natalia Sizova & George Tauchen, 2011. "Volatility in Equilibrium: Asymmetries and Dynamic Dependencies," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 31-80.
    3. Mark Broadie & Mikhail Chernov & Michael Johannes, 2009. "Understanding Index Option Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(11), pages 4493-4529, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Constantinides, George M. & Jackwerth, Jens Carsten & Perrakis, Stylianos, 2007. "Option Pricing: Real and Risk-Neutral Distributions," MPRA Paper 11637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Shaliastovich, Ivan, 2015. "Learning, confidence, and option prices," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 187(1), pages 18-42.
    7. Holger Kraft & Frank Seifried & Mogens Steffensen, 2013. "Consumption-portfolio optimization with recursive utility in incomplete markets," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 161-196, January.

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    Keywords

    Money ; Macroeconomics ; Pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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