A Simple Method for Extracting the Probability of Default from American Put Option Prices

20 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2020

See all articles by Bo Young Chang

Bo Young Chang

Bank of Canada

Greg Orosi

American University of Sharjah

Date Written: January 23, 2020


In this paper, we present a novel method to extract the risk-neutral probability of default of a from from American put option prices. Building on the idea of a default corridor proposed in Carr and Wu (2011), we derive a parsimonious closed-form formula for American put option price from which the probability of default can be inferred. The proposed method is easy to implement and helps overcome the main limitation of the method used in Carr and Wu (2011), which relies on the price of one deep-out-of-the-money put option. Our empirical results based on seven large U.S. firms between 2002 and 2010 show that the option-implied probability of default can provide a more accurate estimate of default probability in some cases, compared to the estimates implied from credit default swap spreads.

Keywords: default, probability of default, American put option, arbitrage, lower bounds

JEL Classification: G01, G12, G13, G14

Suggested Citation

Chang, Bo Young and Orosi, Greg, A Simple Method for Extracting the Probability of Default from American Put Option Prices (January 23, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3524525 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3524525

Bo Young Chang

Bank of Canada ( email )

234 Wellington St.
Ottawa, Ontario K1A0G9
613-782-8936 (Phone)
613-782-7136 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/author/bo-young-chang-2/

Greg Orosi (Contact Author)

American University of Sharjah ( email )

United Arab Emirates

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics