Value Function Approximation or Stopping Time Approximation: A Comparison of Two Recent Numerical Methods for American Option Pricing Using Simulation and Regression

56 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2016

See all articles by Lars Stentoft

Lars Stentoft

Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario; Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO); Aarhus University - CREATES

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Date Written: September 30, 2014

Abstract

In their 2001 paper, Longstaff and Schwartz suggested a method for American option pricing using simulation and regression, and since then this method has rapidly gained importance. However, the idea of using regression and simulation for American option pricing was used at least as early as 1996, by Carriere. In this paper, we provide a thorough comparison of these two methods and relate them to the work of Tsitsiklis and Van Roy. Although the methods are often considered to be similar, this analysis allows us to point out an important but often overlooked difference between them. We further show that, due to this difference, it is possible to provide arguments favoring the method of Longstaff and Schwartz. Finally, we compare the methods in a realistic numerical setting and show that practitioners would do well to choose the method of Longstaff and Schwartz instead of the methods of Carriere or Tsitsiklis and Van Roy for American option pricing.

Keywords: American option pricing, stopping time approximation, value function approximation

Suggested Citation

Stentoft, Lars, Value Function Approximation or Stopping Time Approximation: A Comparison of Two Recent Numerical Methods for American Option Pricing Using Simulation and Regression (September 30, 2014). Journal of Computational Finance, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2789400

Lars Stentoft (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario ( email )

London, Ontario N6A 5B8
Canada

Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO)

2020 rue University, 25th floor
Montreal H3C 3J7, Quebec
Canada

Aarhus University - CREATES

School of Economics and Management
Building 1322, Bartholins Alle 10
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Denmark

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