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Why is the index smile so steep?

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  • Christian Schlag
  • Nicole Branger

Abstract

Empirical evidence shows that the implied volatility smiles for index options are significantly steeper than those for individual options. We propose a model setup where we start from the joint dynamics of the stocks and where the index value is a weighted sum of individual stock prices. Then the differences between the index smile and the smiles for individual stocks are entirely determined by the dependence structure among the stocks. We illustrate our idea in a jump-diffusion framework where both the diffusion and the jumps are decomposed into common and idiosyncratic components. Empirical data for options on the German stock index DAX and on Deutsche Bank are used to show that the model can explain the stylized facts on implied volatility smiles.
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Suggested Citation

  • Christian Schlag & Nicole Branger, 2004. "Why is the index smile so steep?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 84, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:mmf:mmfc03:84
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bakshi, Gurdip & Cao, Charles & Chen, Zhiwu, 1997. " Empirical Performance of Alternative Option Pricing Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 2003-2049, December.
    2. Ang, Andrew & Chen, Joseph, 2002. "Asymmetric correlations of equity portfolios," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 443-494, March.
    3. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    4. Campbell, Rachel & Koedijk, Kees & Kofman, Paul, 2002. "Increased Correlation in Bear markets: A Downside Risk Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 3172, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias R. Fengler & Helmut Herwartz & Christian Werner, 2012. "A Dynamic Copula Approach to Recovering the Index Implied Volatility Skew," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 10(3), pages 457-493, June.
    2. Tzang, Shyh-Weir & Wang, Chou-Wen & Yu, Min-Teh, 2016. "Systematic risk and volatility skew," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 72-87.
    3. Félix, Luiz & Kräussl, Roman & Stork, Philip, 2013. "The 2011 European short sale ban on financial stocks: A cure or a curse?," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/17, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    4. Leonidas Tsiaras, 2010. "Dynamic Models of Exchange Rate Dependence Using Option Prices and Historical Returns," CREATES Research Papers 2010-35, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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