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The 1987 market crash was associated with a dramatic and permanent steepening of the implied volatility curve for equity index options, despite minimal changes in aggregate consumption.


Explaining Asset Pricing Puzzles Associated with the 1987 Market Crash
Last Updated: 11/15/10

The 1987 market crash was associated with a dramatic and permanent steepening of the implied volatility curve for equity index options, despite minimal changes in aggregate consumption. We explain these events within a general equilibrium framework in which expected endowment growth and economic uncertainty are subject to rare jumps. The arrival of a jump triggers the updating of agents' beliefs about the likelihood of future jumps, which produces a market crash and a permanent shift in option prices. Consumption and dividends remain smooth, and the model is consistent with salient features of individual stock options, equity returns, and interest rates.