Origins of Option Pricing Techniques:

Modern option pricing techniques, with roots in stochastic calculus, are often considered among the most mathematically complex of all applied areas of finance. These modern techniques derive their impetus from a formal history dating back to 1877, when Charles Castelli wrote a book entitled The Theory of Options in Stocks and Shares. Castelli's book introduced the public to the hedging and speculation aspects of options, but lacked any monumental theoretical base. Twenty three years later, Louis Bachelier offered the earliest known analytical valuation for options in his mathematics dissertation "Th‚orie de la Sp‚culation" at the Sorbonne. He was on the right track, but he used a process to generate share price that allowed both negative security prices and option prices that exceeded the price of the underlying asset. Bachelier's work interested a professor at MIT named Paul Samuelson, who in 1955, wrote an unpublished paper entitled "Brownian Motion in the Stock Market". During that same year, Richard Kruizenga, one of Samuelson's students, cited Bachelier's work in his dissertation entitled "Put and Call Options: A Theoretical and Market Analysis". In 1962, another dissertation, this time by A. James Boness, focused on options. In his work, entitled "A Theory and Measurement of Stock Option Value", Boness developed a pricing model that made a significant theoretical jump from that of his predecessors. More significantly, his work served as a precursor to that of Fischer Black and Myron Scholes, who in 1973 introduced their landmark option pricing model.