The valuation of contingent claims using alternative numerical methods

Chuang Chang Chang, Jun Biao Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compares the computational accuracy and efficiency of three numerical methods for the valuation of contingent claims written on multiple underlying assets; these are the trinomial tree, original Markov chain and Sobol-Markov chain approaches. The major findings of this study are: (i) the original Duan and Simonato (2001) Markov chain model provides more rapid convergence than the trinomial tree method, particularly in cases where the time to maturity period is less than nine months; (ii) when pricing options with longer maturity periods or with multiple underlying assets, the Sobol-Markov chain model can solve the problem of slow convergence encountered under the original Duan and Simonato (2001) Markov chain method; and (iii) since conditional density is used, as opposed to conditional probability, we can easily extend the Sobol-Markov chain model to the pricing of derivatives which are dependent on more than two underlying assets without dealing with high-dimensional integrals. We also use 'executive stock options' (ESOs) as an example to demonstrate that the Sobol-Markov chain method can easily be applied to the valuation of such ESOs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-508
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Executive stock options
  • Low-discrepancy
  • Markov chain methods
  • Multivariate contingent claims
  • Trinomial tree method


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