Model-independent Arbitrage Bounds on American Put Options

  • Christoph Höggerl

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The standard approach to pricing financial derivatives is to determine the discounted, risk-neutral expected payoff under a model. This model-based approach leaves us prone to model risk, as no model can fully capture the complex behaviour of asset prices in the real world. Alternatively, we could use the prices of some liquidly traded options to deduce no-arbitrage conditions on the contingent claim in question. Since the reference prices are taken from the market, we are not required to postulate a model and thus the conditions found have to hold under any model.In this thesis we are interested in the pricing of American put options using the latter approach. To this end, we will assume that European options on the same underlying and with the same maturity are liquidly traded in the market. We can then use the market information incorporated into these prices to derive a set of no-arbitrage conditions that are valid under any model. Furthermore, we will show that in a market trading only finitely many American and co-terminal European options it is always possible to decide whether the prices are consistent with a model or there has to exist arbitrage in the market.
Date of Award13 Jan 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAlex Cox (Supervisor)


  • Model-independent arbitrage
  • American option
  • Convex conjugate
  • Legendre-Fenchel transformation
  • Skorokhod embedding

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