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Mispricing of S&P 500 index options

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

Abstract

We document widespread violations of stochastic dominance in the one-month S&P 500 index options market over the period 1986-2002. These violations imply that a trader can improve her expected utility by engaging in a zero-net-cost trade. We allow the market to be incomplete and also imperfect by introducing transactions costs and bid-ask spreads. There is higher incidence of violations by OTM than by ITM calls, contradicting the common inference drawn from the observed implied volatility smile that the problem lies with the left-hand tail of the index return distribution. Even though pre-crash option prices conform to the BSM model reasonably well, they are incorrectly priced. Over 1997-2002, many options, particularly OTM calls, are overpriced irrespective of which time period is used to determine the index return distribution. These results do not support the hypothesis that the options market is becoming more rational over time. Finally, our results dispel another common misconception, that the observed smile is too steep after the crash: most of the violations by post-crash options are due to the options being either underpriced over 1988-1995, or overpriced over 1997-2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Constantinides, George M. & Jackwerth, Jens Carsten & Perrakis, Stylianos, 2005. "Mispricing of S&P 500 index options," CoFE Discussion Papers 05/09, University of Konstanz, Center of Finance and Econometrics (CoFE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cofedp:0509
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jensen, Mads Vestergaard & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2016. "Early option exercise: Never say never," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 278-299.
    2. Alexander David & Pietro Veronesi, 2014. "Investors' and Central Bank's Uncertainty Embedded in Index Options," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(6), pages 1661-1716.
    3. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Nicolae Garleanu & Lasse Heje Pedersen & Allen M. Poteshman, 2009. "Demand-Based Option Pricing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4259-4299, October.
    5. Chatrath, Arjun & Christie-David, Rohan A. & Miao, Hong & Ramchander, Sanjay, 2015. "Short-term options: Clienteles, market segmentation, and event trading," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 237-250.
    6. Leippold, Markus & Su, Lujing, 2015. "Collateral smile," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 15-28.
    7. Perrakis, Stylianos & Boloorforoosh, Ali, 2013. "Valuing catastrophe derivatives under limited diversification: A stochastic dominance approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3157-3168.
    8. Ji Cao & Marc Rieger, 2013. "Risk classes for structured products: mathematical aspects and their implications on behavioral investors," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 167-183, May.
    9. Alexander David & Pietro Veronesi, 2011. "Investors' and Central Bank's Uncertainty Embedded in Index Options," NBER Working Papers 16764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Constantinides, George M. & Jackwerth, Jens Carsten & Perrakis, Stylianos, 2005. "Option pricing: Real and risk-neutral distributions," CoFE Discussion Papers 05/06, University of Konstanz, Center of Finance and Econometrics (CoFE).
    11. Chen, Wei-Peng & Chung, Huimin & Lien, Donald, 2016. "Price discovery in the S&P 500 index derivatives markets," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 438-452.
    12. Yuri Golubev & Wolfgang Härdle & Roman Timofeev, 2014. "Testing monotonicity of pricing kernels," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 98(4), pages 305-326, October.
    13. Panayiotis Andreou & Chris Charalambous & Spiros Martzoukos, 2014. "Assessing the performance of symmetric and asymmetric implied volatility functions," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 373-397, April.
    14. Wolfgang Härdle & Volker Krätschmer & Rouslan Moro, 2009. "A Microeconomic Explanation of the EPK Paradox," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-010, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    15. Chunpeng Yang & Bin Gao & Jianlei Yang, 2016. "Option pricing model with sentiment," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 147-164, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Derivative pricing; volatility smile; incomplete markets; transactions costs; index options; stochastic dominance bounds;

    JEL classification:

    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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