Generalizing the reflection principle of Brownian motion, and closed-form pricing of barrier options and autocallable investments

Hangsuck Lee, Soohan Ahn, Bangwon Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, we intend to generalize the well-known reflection principle, one of the most interesting properties of the Brownian motion. The essence of our generalization lies in its ability to stochastically eliminate arbitrary number of partial maximums (or minimums) in the joint events associated with the Brownian motion, thereby allowing us to express the joint probabilities in terms of the multivariate normal distribution functions. Due to the simplicity and versatility, our generalized reflection principle can be used to solve many probabilistic problems pertaining to the Brownian motion. To illustrate, we consider evaluating barrier options and autocallable structured product. Using the basic inclusion-exclusion principle, we obtain integrated pricing formulas for various barrier options under the Black-Scholes model, and derive an explicit pricing formula for the autocallable product, which is not known yet despite its popularity. These formulas are explored through numerical examples. The method of Esscher transform demonstrates its time-honored value during the derivation process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101014
JournalNorth American Journal of Economics and Finance
Volume50
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Autocallable structured product
  • Black-Scholes model
  • Esscher transform
  • Icicled barrier option
  • Reflection principle

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