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Option pricing where the underlying assets follow a Gram/Charlier density of arbitrary order


  • Schlögl, Erik


If a probability distribution is sufficiently close to a normal distribution, its density can be approximated by a Gram/Charlier Series A expansion. In option pricing, this has been used to fit risk-neutral asset price distributions to the implied volatility smile, ensuring an arbitrage-free interpolation of implied volatilities across exercise prices. However, the existing literature is restricted to truncating the series expansion after the fourth moment. This paper presents an option pricing formula in terms of the full (untruncated) series and discusses a fitting algorithm, which ensures that a series truncated at a moment of arbitrary order represents a valid probability density. While it is well known that valid densities resulting from truncated Gram/Charlier Series A expansions do not always have sufficient flexibility to fit all market-observed option prices perfectly, this paper demonstrates that option pricing in a model based on these densities is as tractable as the (far less flexible) original model of Black and Scholes (1973), allowing non-trivial higher moments such as skewness, excess kurtosis and so on to be incorporated into the pricing of exotic options: Generalising the Gram/Charlier Series A approach to the multiperiod, multivariate case, a model calibrated to standard option prices is developed, in which a large class of exotic payoffs can be priced in closed form. Furthermore, this approach, when applied to a foreign exchange option market involving several currencies, can be used to ensure that the volatility smiles for options on the cross exchange rate are constructed in a consistent, arbitrage-free manner.

Suggested Citation

  • Schlögl, Erik, 2013. "Option pricing where the underlying assets follow a Gram/Charlier density of arbitrary order," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 611-632.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:37:y:2013:i:3:p:611-632
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2012.10.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sofiane Aboura & Didier Maillard, 2016. "Option Pricing Under Skewness and Kurtosis Using a Cornish–Fisher Expansion," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(12), pages 1194-1209, December.
    2. Da Fonseca, José & Gnoatto, Alessandro & Grasselli, Martino, 2013. "A flexible matrix Libor model with smiles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 774-793.
    3. De Col, Alvise & Gnoatto, Alessandro & Grasselli, Martino, 2013. "Smiles all around: FX joint calibration in a multi-Heston model," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3799-3818.
    4. Laurent Devineau & Pierre-Edouard Arrouy & Paul Bonnefoy & Alexandre Boumezoued, 2017. "Fast calibration of the Libor Market Model with Stochastic Volatility and Displaced Diffusion," Working Papers hal-01521491, HAL.
    5. Lin, Shin-Hung & Huang, Hung-Hsi & Li, Sheng-Han, 2015. "Option pricing under truncated Gram–Charlier expansion," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 77-97.
    6. Erik Schlögl & Lutz Schlögl, 2007. "Factor Distributions Implied by Quoted CDO Spreads Tranche Pricing," Research Paper Series 190, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
    7. Fabozzi, Frank J. & Leccadito, Arturo & Tunaru, Radu S., 2014. "Extracting market information from equity options with exponential Lévy processes," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 125-141.
    8. Juan Arismendi, 2014. "A Multi-Asset Option Approximation for General Stochastic Processes," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2014-03, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    9. Alessandro Gnoatto & Martino Grasselli, 2013. "An analytic multi-currency model with stochastic volatility and stochastic interest rates," Papers 1302.7246,, revised Mar 2013.

    More about this item


    Hermite expansion; Semi-nonparametric estimation; Risk-neutral density; Option-implied distribution; Exotic option; Currency option;

    JEL classification:

    • C40 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - General
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange


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