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Asymptotics for Exponential Levy Processes and their Volatility Smile: Survey and New Results

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  • Leif Andersen
  • Alexander Lipton
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    Abstract

    Exponential L\'evy processes can be used to model the evolution of various financial variables such as FX rates, stock prices, etc. Considerable efforts have been devoted to pricing derivatives written on underliers governed by such processes, and the corresponding implied volatility surfaces have been analyzed in some detail. In the non-asymptotic regimes, option prices are described by the Lewis-Lipton formula which allows one to represent them as Fourier integrals; the prices can be trivially expressed in terms of their implied volatility. Recently, attempts at calculating the asymptotic limits of the implied volatility have yielded several expressions for the short-time, long-time, and wing asymptotics. In order to study the volatility surface in required detail, in this paper we use the FX conventions and describe the implied volatility as a function of the Black-Scholes delta. Surprisingly, this convention is closely related to the resolution of singularities frequently used in algebraic geometry. In this framework, we survey the literature, reformulate some known facts regarding the asymptotic behavior of the implied volatility, and present several new results. We emphasize the role of fractional differentiation in studying the tempered stable exponential Levy processes and derive novel numerical methods based on judicial finite-difference approximations for fractional derivatives. We also briefly demonstrate how to extend our results in order to study important cases of local and stochastic volatility models, whose close relation to the L\'evy process based models is particularly clear when the Lewis-Lipton formula is used. Our main conclusion is that studying asymptotic properties of the implied volatility, while theoretically exciting, is not always practically useful because the domain of validity of many asymptotic expressions is small.

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    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.6787
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    Paper provided by arXiv.org in its series Papers with number 1206.6787.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1206.6787

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    1. Janek, Agnieszka & Kluge, Tino & Weron, Rafal & Wystup, Uwe, 2010. "FX Smile in the Heston Model," MPRA Paper 25491, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Martin Forde & Antoine Jacquier, 2009. "Small-Time Asymptotics For Implied Volatility Under The Heston Model," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 12(06), pages 861-876.
    3. Alexey Medvedev & Olivier Scaillet, . "Approximation and Calibration of Short-Term Implied Volatilities under Jump-Diffusion Stochastic Volatility," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 06-08, Swiss Finance Institute, revised Jan 2006.
    4. Eric Benhamou, 2002. "Option pricing with Levy Process," Finance 0212006, EconWPA.
    5. Peter Carr & Liuren Wu, 2003. "What Type of Process Underlies Options? A Simple Robust Test," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2581-2610, December.
    6. Pavel Cizek & Wolfgang Karl Härdle & Rafal Weron, 2005. "Statistical Tools for Finance and Insurance," HSC Books, Hugo Steinhaus Center, Wroclaw University of Technology, number hsbook0501.
    7. Andrey Itkin & Peter Carr, 2010. "Using pseudo-parabolic and fractional equations for option pricing in jump diffusion models," Papers 1002.1995, arXiv.org.
    8. Merton, Robert C., 1976. "Option pricing when underlying stock returns are discontinuous," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 125-144.
    9. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
    10. Antoine Jacquier & Aleksandar Mijatovic, 2012. "Large deviations for the extended Heston model: the large-time case," Papers 1203.5020, arXiv.org.
    11. L. Rogers & M. Tehranchi, 2010. "Can the implied volatility surface move by parallel shifts?," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 235-248, April.
    12. Alan L. Lewis, 2000. "Option Valuation under Stochastic Volatility," Option Valuation under Stochastic Volatility, Finance Press, number ovsv, July.
    13. Benoit Mandelbrot, 1963. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 394.
    14. Martin Forde & Antoine Jacquier & Aleksandar Mijatovic, 2009. "Asymptotic formulae for implied volatility in the Heston model," Papers 0911.2992, arXiv.org, revised May 2010.
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    Cited by:
    1. Aleksandar Mijatovi\'c & Peter Tankov, 2012. "A new look at short-term implied volatility in asset price models with jumps," Papers 1207.0843, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2012.

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