This talk investigates implied volatility in general classes of stock price models. To begin with, we take a very general view. We find that implied volatility is always, everywhere, and for every expiry well-defined only if the stock price is a non-negative martingale. We also derive sufficient and close to necessary conditions for an implied volatility surface to be free from static arbitrage. In this context, free from static arbitrage means that the call price surface generated by the implied volatility surface is free from static arbitrage. We also investigate the small time to expiry behaviour of implied volatility. We do this in almost complete generality, assuming only that the call price surface is non-decreasing and right continuous in time to expiry and that the call surface satisfies the no-arbitrage bounds (S−K)+ < C(K, T) < S. We used S to denote the current stock price, K to be a option strike price, T denotes time to expiry, and C(K, T ) the price of the K strike option expiring in T time units. Under these weak assumptions, we obtain exact asymptotic formulae relating the call price surface and the implied volatility surface close to expiry. We apply our general asymptotic formulae to determining the small time to expiry behaviour of implied volatility in a variety of models. We consider exponential Levy models, obtaining new and somewhat surprising results. We then investigate the behaviour close to expiry of stochastic volatility models in the at-the-money case. Our results generalise what is already known and by a novel method of proof. In the not at-the-money case, we consider local volatility models using classical results of Varadhan. In obtaining the asymptotics for local volatility models, we use a representation of the European call as an integral over time to expiry. We may also consider review representations of the European call option. 

About the speaker: Michael Roper was a PhD student in our department and just submitted his PhD thesis. He started work as a Research Associate at the Department of Statistics, UNSW. He is interested in mathematical finance.


Michael Roper

Research Area

Statistics Seminar




Fri, 27/03/2009 - 4:00pm