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Keywords:

  • American call valuation;
  • option pricing;
  • stochastic interest rates;
  • martingale measures

This paper studies contingent claim valuation of risky assets in a stochastic interest rate economy. the model employed generalizes the approach utilized by Heath, Jarrow, and Morton (1992) by imbedding their stochastic interest rate economy into one containing an arbitrary number of additional risky assets. We derive closed form formulae for certain types of European options in this context, notably call and put options on risky assets, forward contracts, and futures contracts. We also value American contingent claims whose payoffs are permitted to be general functions of both the term structure and asset prices generalizing Bensoussan (1984) and Karatzas (1988) in this regard. Here, we provide an example where an American call's value is well defined, yet there does not exist an optimal trading strategy which attains this value. Furthermore, this example is not pathological as it is a generalization of Roll's (1977) formula for a call option on a stock that pays discrete dividends.