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A moving boundary approach to American option pricing

  • Muthuraman, Kumar
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    This paper describes a method to solve the free-boundary problem that arises in the pricing of American options. Most numerical methods for American option pricing exploit the representation of the option price as the expected pay-off under the risk-neutral measure and calculate the price for a given time to expiration and stock price. They do not solve the related free-boundary problem explicitly. The advantage of solving the free-boundary problem is that it provides the entire price function as well as the optimal exercise boundary explicitly. Our approach, which we term the Moving Boundary Approach, is based on using a boundary guess and the value associated with the guess to construct an improved boundary. It is also shown that on iteration, the sequence of boundaries converge monotonically to the optimal exercise boundary. Examples illustrating the convergence behavior as well as discussions providing insight into the method are also presented. Finally, we compare runtimes and speeds with other methods that solve the free-boundary problem and compute the optimal boundaries explicitly, like the front-fixing method, penalty method, method based on the integral representations and the method by Brennan and Schwartz [1977. The valuation of American put options. Journal of Finance 32 (2), 449-462].

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 3520-3537

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:32:y:2008:i:11:p:3520-3537
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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    1. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1977. "The Valuation of American Put Options," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 449-62, May.
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    4. Peter Carr & Robert Jarrow & Ravi Myneni, 1992. "Alternative Characterizations Of American Put Options," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 87-106.
    5. Longstaff, Francis A & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 2001. "Valuing American Options by Simulation: A Simple Least-Squares Approach," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt43n1k4jb, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
    6. Huang, Jing-zhi & Subrahmanyam, Marti G & Yu, G George, 1996. "Pricing and Hedging American Options: A Recursive Integration Method," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 277-300.
    7. Black, Fischer, 1976. "The pricing of commodity contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 167-179.
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    16. Geske, Robert & Johnson, Herb E, 1984. " The American Put Option Valued Analytically," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1511-24, December.
    17. Orlin Grabbe, J., 1983. "The pricing of call and put options on foreign exchange," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 239-253, December.
    18. Ju, Nengjiu, 1998. "Pricing an American Option by Approximating Its Early Exercise Boundary as a Multipiece Exponential Function," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(3), pages 627-46.
    19. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
    20. Chiarella, Carl & El-Hassan, Nadima & Kucera, Adam, 1999. "Evaluation of American option prices in a path integral framework using Fourier-Hermite series expansions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1387-1424, September.
    21. Courtadon, Georges, 1982. "A More Accurate Finite Difference Approximation for the Valuation of Options," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(05), pages 697-703, December.
    22. S. D. Jacka, 1991. "Optimal Stopping and the American Put," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 1-14.
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