This paper examines whether investors receive compensation for holding stocks with a strong sensitivity to extreme market downturns in a sample covering forty countries. Worldwide, stocks with strong crash sensitivity deliver average returns of more than 7% p.a. higher than stocks with weak crash sensitivity. The effect is robust across geographical subsamples and is not explained by systematic risk factors and alternative firm characteristics. I show that the risk premium is particularly pronounced in countries that display negative market skewness, high income per capita, and rank high on Hofstede's individualism index.