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The Supply and Demand of S&P 500 Put Options

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  • George M. Constantinides
  • Lei Lian

Abstract

We document that the implied volatility skew of S&P 500 index puts is non-decreasing in the disaster index and risk-neutral variance, contrary to the implications of a broad class of no-arbitrage models. The key to the puzzle lies in recognizing that, as the disaster risk increases, customers demand more puts as insurance while market makers become more credit-constrained in writing puts. The resulting increase in the equilibrium price is more pronounced in out-of-the-money than in-the-money puts, thereby steepening the implied volatility skew and resolving the puzzle. Consistent with the data, the model also implies that the equilibrium net buy of puts is decreasing in the disaster index, variance, and their price. The data shows a significant decreasing relationship between the IV skew and the net buy and no relationship in other periods, also explained by the model.

Suggested Citation

  • George M. Constantinides & Lei Lian, 2015. "The Supply and Demand of S&P 500 Put Options," NBER Working Papers 21161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21161
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    Cited by:

    1. Biao Guo & Hai Lin, 2020. "Volatility and jump risk in option returns," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(11), pages 1767-1792, November.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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