American Option Valuation: New Bounds, Approximations, and a Comparison of Existing Methods
Posted: 22 Aug 1994
Date Written: July 15, 1994
In this paper we provide lower and upper bounds on the prices of American call and put options written on a dividend paying asset. Based on the bounds, we provide two option price approximations. Our second approximation, which uses both lower and upper bound information, has an average accuracy comparable to a 1000-step binomial tree with a computation speed comparable to a 50-step binomial tree. Put another way, our second approximation is 6 times more accurate than a 200-step binomial tree and is about 15 times faster than a 200-step binomial tree. Furthermore, the approximations are sufficiently simple that they can be computed in a spreadsheet. In addition, we conduct a careful large-scale evaluation of many recent methods for computing American option prices. Comparisons are made on the basis of accuracy and speed of computation and lead to some surprising results.
JEL Classification: G13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation