A Closed-Form GARCH Option Pricing Model


34 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 1998

See all articles by Steven L. Heston

Steven L. Heston

University of Maryland - Department of Finance

Saikat Nandi

Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)

Date Written: November 1997


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.

JEL Classification: G13

Suggested Citation

Heston, Steven L. and Nandi, Saikat, A Closed-Form GARCH Option Pricing Model (November 1997). 97-9, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=96651 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.96651

Steven L. Heston

University of Maryland - Department of Finance ( email )

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park, MD 20742
United States

Saikat Nandi (Contact Author)

Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) ( email )

3900 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-2892
United States
(202)752-8421 (Phone)

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