Using options prices to infer PDF'S for asset prices: an application to oil prices during the Gulf crisis
We develop a general method to infer martingale equivalent probability density functions (PDFs) for asset prices using American options prices. The early exercise feature of American options precludes expressing the option price in terms of the PDF of the price of the underlying asset. We derive tight bounds for the option price in terms of the PDF and demonstrate how these bounds, together with observed option prices, can be used to estimate the parameters of the PDF. We infer the distribution for the price of crude oil during the Persian Gulf crisis and find the distribution differs significantly from that recovered using standard techniques.
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