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On the qualitative effect of volatility and duration on prices of Asian options

  • Carr, Peter
  • Ewald, Christian-Oliver
  • Xiao, Yajun

We show that under the Black-Scholes assumption the price of an arithmetic average Asian call option with fixed strike increases with the level of volatility. This statement is not trivial to prove and for other models in general wrong. In fact we demonstrate that in a simple binomial model no such relationship holds. Under the Black-Scholes assumption however, we give a proof based on the maximum principle for parabolic partial differential equations. Furthermore we show that an increase in the length of duration over which the average is sampled also increases the price of an arithmetic average Asian call option, if the discounting effect is taken out. To show this, we use the result on volatility and the fact that a reparametrization in time corresponds to a change in volatility in the Black-Scholes model. Both results are extremely important for the risk management and risk assessment of portfolios that include Asian options.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Finance Research Letters.

Volume (Year): 5 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 162-171

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Handle: RePEc:eee:finlet:v:5:y:2008:i:3:p:162-171
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  1. 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.
  2. Eric Fournié & Jean-Michel Lasry & Pierre-Louis Lions & Jérôme Lebuchoux & Nizar Touzi, 1999. "Applications of Malliavin calculus to Monte Carlo methods in finance," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 391-412.
  3. Hélyette Geman & Marc Yor, 1993. "Bessel Processes, Asian Options, And Perpetuities," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(4), pages 349-375.
  4. Jagannathan, Ravi, 1984. "Call options and the risk of underlying securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 425-434, September.
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