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Nonparametric Estimation of State-Price Densities Implicit in Financial Asset Prices

Author

Listed:
  • Yacine Aït-Sahalia

    (University of Chicago and NBER,)

  • Andrew W. Lo

    (NBER and MIT)

Abstract

Implicit in the prices of traded financial assets are Arrow-Debreu prices or, with continuous states, the state-price density (SPD). We construct a nonparametric estimator for the SPD implicit in option prices and we derive its asymptotic sampling theory. This estimator provides an arbitrage-free method of pricing new, complex, or illiquid securities while capturing those features of the data that are most relevant from an asset-pricing perspective, for example, negative skewness and excess kurtosis for asset returns, and volatility "smiles" for option prices. We perform Monte Carlo experiments and extract the SPD from actual S&P 500 option prices. Copyright The American Finance Association 1998.

Suggested Citation

  • Yacine Aït-Sahalia & Andrew W. Lo, 1998. "Nonparametric Estimation of State-Price Densities Implicit in Financial Asset Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 499-547, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:53:y:1998:i:2:p:499-547
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 1996. "Testing Continuous-Time Models of the Spot Interest Rate," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 385-426.
    2. Breeden, Douglas T & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1978. "Prices of State-contingent Claims Implicit in Option Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 621-651, October.
    3. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1972. "The Valuation of Option Contracts and a Test of Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 27(2), pages 399-417, May.
    4. Boyle, Phelim P. & Emanuel, David, 1980. "Discretely adjusted option hedges," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 259-282, September.
    5. 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 637-654, May-June.
    6. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 1996. "Nonparametric Pricing of Interest Rate Derivative Securities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 527-560, May.
    7. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
    8. Banz, Rolf W & Miller, Merton H, 1978. "Prices for State-contingent Claims: Some Estimates and Applications," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 653-672, October.
    9. Bick, Avi, 1990. " On Viable Diffusion Price Processes of the Market Portfolio," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 673-689, June.
    10. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A. & Rubinstein, Mark, 1979. "Option pricing: A simplified approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 229-263, September.
    11. Constantinides, George M, 1982. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers and without Demand Aggregation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 253-267, April.
    12. Chiras, Donald P. & Manaster, Steven, 1978. "The information content of option prices and a test of market efficiency," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2-3), pages 213-234.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing

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