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Mispricing of S&P 500 Index Options

  • George M. Constantinides
  • Jens Carsten Jackwerth
  • Stylianos Perrakis

Widespread violations of stochastic dominance by one-month S&P 500 index call options over 1986-2006 imply that a trader can improve expected utility by engaging in a zero-net-cost trade net of transaction costs and bid-ask spread. Although pre-crash option prices conform to the Black-Scholes-Merton model reasonably well, they are incorrectly priced if the distribution of the index return is estimated from time-series data. Substantial violations by post-crash OTM calls contradict the notion that the problem primarily lies with the left-hand tail of the index return distribution and that the smile is too steep. The decrease in violations over the post-crash period 1988-1995 is followed by a substantial increase over 1997-2006 which may be due to the lower quality of the data but, in any case, does not provide evidence that the options market is becoming more rational over time.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14544.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14544.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Publication status: published as Review of Financial Studies, March 2009
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14544
Note: AP
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  1. Yacine Aït-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, 1998. "Nonparametric Estimation of State-Price Densities Implicit in Financial Asset Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 499-547, 04.
  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 Ait-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, 2000. "Nonparametric Risk Management and Implied Risk Aversion," NBER Working Papers 6130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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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