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Valuation of futures and commodity options with information costs

Mondher Bellalah

Journal of Futures Markets, 1999, vol. 19, issue 6, 645-664

Abstract: In this article, futures and commodity options are analyzed in the context of Merton's (1987) model of capital market equilibrium with incomplete information. First, following Dusak (1973) and Black (1976), the conditions under which Merton's model can be applied to the valuation of forward and futures contracts are proposed. Then an application to futures markets is given. We provide a partial differential equation and the formulas for European commodity options, futures contracts, and American options in the same context. The models are simulated and compared to standard models with no information costs. We find that model prices are not significantly different from standard model prices. However, our models correct for some pricing biases in standard models. In particular, they reduce the overvaluation bias for European and American commodity options. It seems that the costs of gathering and processing information regarding the option and its underlying asset play a role in explaining the biases observed in standard models. This work can be applied to other futures markets. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 19: 645–664, 1999

Date: 1999
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