Computational Economics

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 143–151 | Cite as

Fast and accurate pricing of discretely monitored barrier options by numerical path integration

  • Christian Skaug
  • Arvid Naess


Barrier options are financial derivative contracts that are activated or deactivated according to the crossing of specified barriers by an underlying asset price. Exact models for pricing barrier options assume continuous monitoring of the underlying dynamics, usually a stock price. Barrier options in traded markets, however, nearly always assume less frequent observation, e.g. daily or weekly. These situations require approximate solutions to the pricing problem. We present a new approach to pricing such discretely monitored barrier options that may be applied in many realistic situations. In particular, we study daily monitored up-and-out call options of the European type with a single underlying stock. The approach is based on numerical approximation of the transition probability density associated with the stochastic differential equation describing the stock price dynamics, and provides accurate results in less than one second whenever a contract expires in a year or less. The flexibility of the method permits more complex underlying dynamics than the Black and Scholes paradigm, and its relative simplicity renders it quite easy to implement.


Barrier options Discrete monitoring Numerical path integration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto per le Applicazioni del Calcolo, CNRBariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mathematical SciencesNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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