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On the Possibility of Stock Market Crashes in the Absence of Portfolio Insurance


  • Gadi Barlevy
  • Pietro Veronesi


stock market crash on hedging strategies by portfolio insurers, which dictated selling stocks as soon as prices fell. The fact that the practice of buying and selling stocks as portfolio insurance has virtually disappeared since then has given many comfort that a replay of the 1987 crash, when prices fell so much so quickly, is unlikely. This note argues with this view by developing a model in which crashes are possible in the absence of portfolio insurance. In our model, a crash is driven by panic selling among rational but uninformed traders.

Suggested Citation

  • Gadi Barlevy & Pietro Veronesi, 1999. "On the Possibility of Stock Market Crashes in the Absence of Portfolio Insurance," Discussion Papers 1252, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1252

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gadi Barlevy & Pietro Veronesi, 2000. "Information Acquisition in Financial Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 79-90.
    2. Madrigal, Vicente & Scheinkman, Jose A., 1997. "Price Crashes, Information Aggregation, and Market-Making," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 16-63, July.
    3. Gennotte, Gerard & Leland, Hayne, 1990. "Market Liquidity, Hedging, and Crashes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 999-1021, December.
    4. Bulow, Jeremy & Klemperer, Paul, 1994. "Rational Frenzies and Crashes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 1-23, February.
    5. Grossman, Sanford, 1978. "Further results on the informational efficiency of competitive stock markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 81-101, June.
    6. Sanford Grossman, 1978. "Further results on the informational efficiency of competitive stock markets," Special Studies Papers 114, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Wilson, Charles A, 1979. "Equilibrium and Adverse Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 313-317, May.
    8. Admati, Anat R, 1985. "A Noisy Rational Expectations Equilibrium for Multi-asset Securities Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 629-657, May.
    9. Charles Wilson, 1980. "The Nature of Equilibrium in Markets with Adverse Selection," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 108-130, Spring.
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    More about this item


    Giffen Effect; Portfolio Insurance; Hedging Demand; Market Crashes;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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