A Closed-Form GARCH Option Pricing Model
Steven L. Heston
University of Maryland - Department of Finance
Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
This paper develops a closed-form option pricing formula for a spot asset whose variance follows a GARCH process. The model allows for correlation between returns of the spot asset and variance and also admits multiple lags in the dynamics of the GARCH process. The single factor (one lag) version of this model contains Heston's (1993) stochastic volatility model as a diffusion limit and therefore unifies the discrete GARCH and continuous-time stochastic volatility literature of option pricing. The new model provides the first option formula for a random volatility model that is solely a function of observables; all the parameters can be easily estimated from the history of asset prices, observed at discreteintervals.
Empirical analysis on S&P500 index options shows the single factor version of the GARCH model to be a substantial improvement over the Black-Scholes (1973) model. The GARCH model continues to substantially outperform the Black-Scholes model even when the Black-Scholes model is updated every period while the parameters of the GARCH model are held constant. The improvement is due largely to the ability of the GARCH model to describe the correlation of volatility with spot returns. This allows the GARCH model to capture strike price biases in the Black-Scholes model that give rise to the skew in implied volatilities in the index options market.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
JEL Classification: G13working papers series
Date posted: June 8, 1998
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