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Arbitrage-Free Discretization of Lognormal Forward Libor and Swap Rate Models


  • Glasserman, P.
  • Zhao, X.


An important recent development in the pricing of interest rate derivatives is the emergence of models that incorporate lognormal volatilities for forward Libor or forward swap rates while keeping interest rates stable. These market models have three attractive features: they preclude arbitrage among bonds, they keep rates positive, and, most distinctively, they price caps or swaptions according to Black's formula, thus allowing automatic calibration to market data. But these features of continuous-time formulations are easily lost when the models are discretized for simulation. We introduce methods for discretizing these models giving particular attention to precluding arbitrage among bonds and to keeping interest rates positive even after discretization. These methods transform the Libor or swap rates to positive martingales, discretize the martingales, and then recover the Libor and swap rates from these discretized variables, rather than discretizing the rates themselves. Choosing the martingales proportional to differences of ratios of bond prices to numeraire prices turns out to be particularly convenient and effective. We can choose the discretization to price one caplet of arbitrary maturity without discretization error. We numerically investigate the accuracy of other caplet and swaption prices as a gauge of how closely a model calibrated to implied volatilities reproduces market prices. Numerical results indicate that several of the methods proposed here often outperform more standard discretizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Glasserman, P. & Zhao, X., 1998. "Arbitrage-Free Discretization of Lognormal Forward Libor and Swap Rate Models," Papers 98-09, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:colubu:98-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Farshid Jamshidian, 1997. "LIBOR and swap market models and measures (*)," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 293-330.
    2. Heath, David & Jarrow, Robert & Morton, Andrew, 1990. "Bond Pricing and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: A Discrete Time Approximation," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(04), pages 419-440, December.
    3. Jin-Chuan Duan & Jean-Guy Simonato, 1995. "Empirical Martingale Simulation for Asset Prices," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-43, CIRANO.
    4. 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..
    5. Miltersen, Kristian R & Sandmann, Klaus & Sondermann, Dieter, 1997. " Closed Form Solutions for Term Structure Derivatives with Log-Normal Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 409-430, March.
    6. Marek Rutkowski & Marek Musiela, 1997. "Continuous-time term structure models: Forward measure approach (*)," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 261-291.
    7. Alan Brace & Dariusz G¬łatarek & Marek Musiela, 1997. "The Market Model of Interest Rate Dynamics," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 127-155.
    8. K. Sandmann & Sondermann, D., 1993. "A Term Structure Model and the Pricing of Interest Rate Derivative," Discussion Paper Serie B 180, University of Bonn, Germany.
    9. Black, Fischer, 1976. "The pricing of commodity contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 167-179.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marek Rutkowski, 1999. "Models of forward Libor and swap rates," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 29-60.

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    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General


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