WIAS Preprint No. 2468, (2017)

Extreme at-the-money skew in a local volatility model


  • Pigato, Paolo

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 60H08 91G08


  • Implied volatility, local volatility, skew explosion, small-time asymptotics, European option pricing, discontinuous coefficients, regime-switch


We consider a local volatility model, with volatility taking two possible values, depending on the value of the underlying with respect to a fixed threshold. When the threshold is taken at-the-money, we establish exact pricing formulas and compute short-time asymptotics of the implied volatility surface. We derive an exact formula for the at-the-money implied volatility skew, which explodes as T-1/2, reproducing the empirical "steep short end of the smile". This behavior does not depend on the precise choice of the parameters, but simply follows from the "regime-switch" of the local volatility at-the-money.

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