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Disasters implied by equity index options

By David Backus, Mikhail Chernov and Ian Martin


We use equity index options to quantify the distribution of consumption growth disasters. The challenge lies in connecting the risk-neutral distribution of equity returns implied by options to the true distribution of consumption growth estimated from macroeconomic data. We attack the problem from three perspectives. First, we compare pricing kernels constructed from macro-finance and option-pricing models. Second, we compare option prices derived from a macro-finance model to those we observe. Third, we compare the distribution of consumption growth derived from option prices using a macro-finance model to estimates based on macroeconomic data. All three perspectives suggest that options imply smaller probabilities of extreme outcomes than have been estimated from international macroeconomic data. The third comparison yields a viable alternative calibration of the distribution of consumption growth that matches the equity premium, option prices, and the sample moments of US consumption growth

Topics: HB Economic Theory, HJ Public Finance
Publisher: The American Finance Association
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2011.01697.x
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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