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This paper presents a new bound that relates the equity premium to a volatility index, SVIX, that can be calculated from index option prices. This bound, which relies only on very weak assumptions, implies that the equity premium is extremely volatile, and that it rose above 20% at the height of the crisis in 2008. More aggressively, I argue that the lower bound-whose time-series average is about 5%-is approximately tight and that the high equity premia available at times of stress largelydoi:10.1093/qje/qjw034 fatcat:te4kutj7vfe2ngk2iztjenlizq