IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Sequential Monte Carlo pricing of American-style options under stochastic volatility models


  • Bhojnarine R. Rambharat
  • Anthony E. Brockwell


We introduce a new method to price American-style options on underlying investments governed by stochastic volatility (SV) models. The method does not require the volatility process to be observed. Instead, it exploits the fact that the optimal decision functions in the corresponding dynamic programming problem can be expressed as functions of conditional distributions of volatility, given observed data. By constructing statistics summarizing information about these conditional distributions, one can obtain high quality approximate solutions. Although the required conditional distributions are in general intractable, they can be arbitrarily precisely approximated using sequential Monte Carlo schemes. The drawback, as with many Monte Carlo schemes, is potentially heavy computational demand. We present two variants of the algorithm, one closely related to the well-known least-squares Monte Carlo algorithm of Longstaff and Schwartz [The Review of Financial Studies 14 (2001) 113-147], and the other solving the same problem using a "brute force" gridding approach. We estimate an illustrative SV model using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for three equities. We also demonstrate the use of our algorithm by estimating the posterior distribution of the market price of volatility risk for each of the three equities.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhojnarine R. Rambharat & Anthony E. Brockwell, 2010. "Sequential Monte Carlo pricing of American-style options under stochastic volatility models," Papers 1010.1372,, revised Jul 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1010.1372

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Latest version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Carr & Robert Jarrow & Ravi Myneni, 2008. "Alternative Characterizations Of American Put Options," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 5, pages 85-103 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1010.1372. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (arXiv administrators). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.