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On refined volatility smile expansion in the Heston model


  • P. Friz
  • S. Gerhold
  • A. Gulisashvili
  • S. Sturm


It is known that Heston's stochastic volatility model exhibits moment explosion, and that the critical moment $s_+$ can be obtained by solving (numerically) a simple equation. This yields a leading order expansion for the implied volatility at large strikes: $\sigma_{BS}( k,T)^{2}T\sim \Psi (s_+-1) \times k$ (Roger Lee's moment formula). Motivated by recent "tail-wing" refinements of this moment formula, we first derive a novel tail expansion for the Heston density, sharpening previous work of Dragulescu and Yakovenko [Quant. Finance 2, 6 (2002), 443--453], and then show the validity of a refined expansion of the type $\sigma_{BS}( k,T) ^{2}T=( \beta_{1}k^{1/2}+\beta_{2}+...)^{2}$, where all constants are explicitly known as functions of $s_+$, the Heston model parameters, spot vol and maturity $T$. In the case of the "zero-correlation" Heston model such an expansion was derived by Gulisashvili and Stein [Appl. Math. Optim. 61, 3 (2010), 287--315]. Our methods and results may prove useful beyond the Heston model: the entire quantitative analysis is based on affine principles: at no point do we need knowledge of the (explicit, but cumbersome) closed form expression of the Fourier transform of $\log S_{T}$\ (equivalently: Mellin transform of $S_{T}$ ); what matters is that these transforms satisfy ordinary differential equations of Riccati type. Secondly, our analysis reveals a new parameter ("critical slope"), defined in a model free manner, which drives the second and higher order terms in tail- and implied volatility expansions.

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  • P. Friz & S. Gerhold & A. Gulisashvili & S. Sturm, 2010. "On refined volatility smile expansion in the Heston model," Papers 1001.3003,, revised Nov 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1001.3003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adrian Dragulescu & Victor Yakovenko, 2002. "Probability distribution of returns in the Heston model with stochastic volatility," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(6), pages 443-453.
    2. Martin Forde & Antoine Jacquier & Aleksandar Mijatovic, 2009. "Asymptotic formulae for implied volatility in the Heston model," Papers 0911.2992,, revised May 2010.
    3. S. Benaim & P. Friz, 2009. "Regular Variation And Smile Asymptotics," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-12.
    4. A. Gulisashvili & E. M. Stein, 2009. "Asymptotic Behavior of the Stock Price Distribution Density and Implied Volatility in Stochastic Volatility Models," Papers 0906.0392,
    5. Leif Andersen & Vladimir Piterbarg, 2007. "Moment explosions in stochastic volatility models," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 29-50, January.
    6. A. Gulisashvili, 2009. "Asymptotic Formulas with Error Estimates for Call Pricing Functions and the Implied Volatility at Extreme Strikes," Papers 0906.0394,
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