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The Valuation of Volatility Options

This paper examines the valuation of European- and American-style volatility options based on a general equilibrium stochastic volatility framework. Properties of the optimal exercise region and of the option price are provided when volatility follows a general diffusion process. Explicit valuation formulas are derived in four particular cases. Emphasis is placed on the MRLP (mean-reverting in the log) volatility model which has received considerable empirical support. In this context we examine the properties and hedging behavior of volatility options. Unlike American options, European call options on volatility are found to display concavity at high levels of volatility.
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