Jon Faust
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Options, Sunspots, and the Creation of Uncertainty

Authors: Bowman, David; Faust, Jon

Source: Journal of Political Economy, October 1997, v. 105, iss. 5, pp. 957-75

Abstract: The authors present two examples in which the addition of an option market leads to sunspot equilibria despite the fact that no sunspot equilibria exist without the market. These examples highlight limitations in two prevalent views of option markets. It is often assumed that option markets help complete otherwise incomplete markets. The authors demonstrate that they can instead increase the number of events agents wish to insure against. As in Fischer Black and Myron Scholes (1973), it is often assumed that option markets are redundant. The authors demonstrate that an option market may not be redundant even when markets were complete before its introduction.

Descriptors: Capital Markets--Empirical Studies, Including Regulation (3132) Capital Markets: Theory, Including Portfolio Selection, and Empirical Studies Illustrating Theory (3131) Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing; option pricing (G130)

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