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Preference-free option pricing with path-dependent volatility: A closed-form approach


  • Steven L. Heston
  • Saikat Nandi


This paper shows how one can obtain a continuous-time preference-free option pricing model with a path-dependent volatility as the limit of a discrete-time GARCH model. In particular, the continuous-time model is the limit of a discrete-time GARCH model of Heston and Nandi (1997) that allows asymmetry between returns and volatility. For the continuous-time model, one can directly compute closed-form solutions for option prices using the formula of Heston (1993). Toward that purpose, we present the necessary mappings, based on Foster and Nelson (1994), such that one can approximate (arbitrarily closely) the parameters of the continuous-time model on the basis of the parameters of the discrete-time GARCH model. The discrete-time GARCH parameters can be estimated easily just by observing the history of asset prices. ; Unlike most option pricing models that are based on the absence of arbitrage alone, a parameter related to the expected return/risk premium of the asset does appear in the continuous-time option formula. However, given other parameters, option prices are not at all sensitive to the risk premium parameter, which is often imprecisely estimated.

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  • Steven L. Heston & Saikat Nandi, 1998. "Preference-free option pricing with path-dependent volatility: A closed-form approach," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 98-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:98-20

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert C. Merton, 2005. "Theory of rational option pricing," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 8, pages 229-288 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Heston, Steven L, 1993. "A Closed-Form Solution for Options with Stochastic Volatility with Applications to Bond and Currency Options," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(2), pages 327-343.
    3. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
    4. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
    5. Harrison, J. Michael & Pliska, Stanley R., 1981. "Martingales and stochastic integrals in the theory of continuous trading," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 215-260, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Bernard Dumas & Jeff Fleming & Robert E. Whaley, 1998. "Implied Volatility Functions: Empirical Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2059-2106, December.
    8. Rubinstein, Mark, 1994. " Implied Binomial Trees," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 771-818, July.
    9. Nelson, Daniel B & Foster, Dean P, 1994. "Asymptotic Filtering Theory for Univariate ARCH Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 1-41, January.
    10. Mark Rubinstein., 1994. "Implied Binomial Trees," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-232, University of California at Berkeley.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gondzio, Jacek & Kouwenberg, Roy & Vorst, Ton, 2003. "Hedging options under transaction costs and stochastic volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1045-1068, April.
    2. Carey, Alexander, 2008. "Natural volatility and option pricing," MPRA Paper 6709, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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