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Connecting discrete and continuous path-dependent options


  • Paul Glasserman

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA)

  • S.G. Kou

    () (Department of Statistics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1027, USA)

  • Mark Broadie

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA)


This paper develops methods for relating the prices of discrete- and continuous-time versions of path-dependent options sensitive to extremal values of the underlying asset, including lookback, barrier, and hindsight options. The relationships take the form of correction terms that can be interpreted as shifting a barrier, a strike, or an extremal price. These correction terms enable us to use closed-form solutions for continuous option prices to approximate their discrete counterparts. We also develop discrete-time discrete-state lattice methods for determining accurate prices of discrete and continuous path-dependent options. In several cases, the lattice methods use correction terms based on the connection between discrete- and continuous-time prices which dramatically improve convergence to the accurate price.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Glasserman & S.G. Kou & Mark Broadie, 1999. "Connecting discrete and continuous path-dependent options," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 55-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:finsto:v:3:y:1999:i:1:p:55-82
    Note: received: December 1996; final version received: December 1997

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wissel, Johannes, 2007. "Some results on strong solutions of SDEs with applications to interest rate models," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 117(6), pages 720-741, June.
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    4. Carr, Peter & Madan, Dilip B., 2005. "A note on sufficient conditions for no arbitrage," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 125-130, September.
    5. Brace, Alan & Fabbri, Giorgio & Goldys, Benjamin, 2007. "An Hilbert space approach for a class of arbitrage free implied volatilities models," MPRA Paper 6321, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ledoit, Olivier & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Yan, Shu, 2002. "Relative Pricing of Options with Stochastic Volatility," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt7jp8f42t, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
    7. David Heath & Robert Jarrow & Andrew Morton, 2008. "Bond Pricing And The Term Structure Of Interest Rates: A New Methodology For Contingent Claims Valuation," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 13, pages 277-305 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. 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.
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    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Farid Aitsahlia & Tzeung Le Lai, 1998. "Random walk duality and the valuation of discrete lookback options," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3-4), pages 227-240.

    More about this item


    Barrier options; lookback options; continuity corrections; trinomial trees;

    JEL classification:

    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates


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