Life Is Cheap: Using Mortality Bonds to Hedge Aggregate Mortality Risk
AbstractInsurance companies, employer pension plans, and the U.S. government all provide annuities and therefore assume aggregate mortality risk. Using the widely-cited Lee-Carter mortality model, we quantify aggregate mortality risk as the risk that the average annuitant lives longer than is predicted by the model, and we determine that annuities expose providers to substantial risk. We also find that other recent actuarial forecasts lie at the edge or outside of Lee-Carter's 95% confidence interval, suggesting even more uncertainty about future mortality.We then evaluate the implications of aggregate mortality risk for insurance companies; this analysis can be extended to private pension providers and Social Security. Given the forecasts of the Lee-Carter model, we calculate that a markup of 3.9% on an annuity premium (or shareholders' capital equal to 3.9% of the expected present value of annuity payments) would be required to reduce the probability of insolvency resulting from aggregate mortality shocks to 5%, and a markup of 5.7% would reduce the probability of insolvency to 1%. Based on the same model, we find that a projection scale commonly referred to by the insurance industry underestimates aggregate mortality improvements and would leave annuities underpriced.Annuity providers could manage aggregate mortality risk more efficiently by transferring it to financial markets through mortality-contingent bonds. We calculate the returns that one recently proposed mortality bond would have paid had it been available over a long period. Using both the Capital and the Consumption Capital Asset Pricing Models, we determine the risk premium that investors would have required to hold the bond. At plausible coefficients of risk aversion, annuity providers should be able to hedge aggregate mortality risk via such bonds at very low cost.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.
Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.degruyter.com
Other versions of this item:
- Leora Friedberg & Anthony Webb, 2006. "Life is Cheap: Using Mortality Bonds to Hedge Aggregate Mortality Risk," NBER Working Papers 11984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
- G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
- G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jeffrey R. Brown & J. David Cummins & Christopher M. Lewis & Ran Wei, 2004.
"An Empirical Analysis of the Economic Impact of Federal Terrorism Reinsurance,"
NBER Working Papers
10388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brown, Jeffrey R. & Cummins, J. David & Lewis, Christopher M. & Wei, Ran, 2004. "An empirical analysis of the economic impact of federal terrorism reinsurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 861-898, July.
- Shenyi Jiang & Wei Sun & Anthony Webb, 2011.
"Did the Housing Boom Increase Household Spending?,"
Issues in Brief
ib2011-10, Center for Retirement Research, revised Aug 2011.
- Rajnish Mehra & Edward C. Prescott, 2003.
"The Equity Premium in Retrospect,"
NBER Working Papers
9525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brouhns, Natacha & Denuit, Michel & Vermunt, Jeroen K., 2002. "A Poisson log-bilinear regression approach to the construction of projected lifetables," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 373-393, December.
- Dowd, Kevin & Cairns, Andrew J.G. & Blake, David, 2006. "Mortality-dependent financial risk measures," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 427-440, June.
- Andrew J. G. Cairns & David Blake & Kevin Dowd, 2006. "A Two-Factor Model for Stochastic Mortality with Parameter Uncertainty: Theory and Calibration," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(4), pages 687-718.
- Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005.
"Annuities and Individual Welfare,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
- Ronald Lee & Timothy Miller, 2001. "Evaluating the performance of the lee-carter method for forecasting mortality," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 537-549, November.
- Dahl, Mikkel, 2004. "Stochastic mortality in life insurance: market reserves and mortality-linked insurance contracts," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 113-136, August.
- Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, .
"New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities,"
Pension Research Council Working Papers
97-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
- Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
- Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 2000. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," NBER Working Papers 6002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Olivia S. Mitchell & James M. Poterba, 2000. "Mortality Risk, Inflation Risk, and Annuity Products," NBER Working Papers 7812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kevin Dowd, 2003. "Survivor Bonds: A Comment on Blake and Burrows," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 70(2), pages 339-348.
- repec:ner:louvai:info:hdl:2078.1/105289 is not listed on IDEAS
- Jeffrey R. Brown & James M. Poterba, 1999. "Joint Life Annuities and Annuity Demand by Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 7199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guan Gong & Steven A. Sass, 2007. "Evaluating the Advanced Life Deferred Annuity - An Annuity People Might Actually Buy," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-15, Center for Retirement Research, revised Sep 2007.
- Blake, David & Brockett, Patrick & Cox, Samuel & MacMinn, Richard, 2011. "Longevity risk and capital markets: The 2009-2010 update," MPRA Paper 28868, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Bauer, Daniel & Börger, Matthias & Ruß, Jochen, 2010. "On the pricing of longevity-linked securities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 139-149, February.
- Chen, Bingzheng & Zhang, Lihong & Zhao, Lin, 2010. "On the robustness of longevity risk pricing," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 358-373, December.
- David Blake & Christophe Courbage & Richard MacMinn & Michael Sherris, 2011.
"Longevity Risk and Capital Markets: The 2010–2011 Update,"
The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice,
Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(4), pages 489-500, October.
- Blake, David & Courbage, Christophe & MacMinn, Richard & Sherris, Michael, 2011. "Longevity risks and capital markets: The 2010-2011 update," MPRA Paper 34279, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Brown, Jeffrey R. & Finkelstein, Amy, 2007.
"Why is the market for long-term care insurance so small?,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 91(10), pages 1967-1991, November.
- Jeffrey R. Brown & Amy Finkelstein, 2007. "Why is the market for long-term care insurance so small?," NBER Chapters, in: Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), Public Policy and Retirement, pages 1967-1991 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Justin van de Ven & Martin Weale, 2007. "Annuities and Aggregate Mortality Uncertainty," WEF Working Papers 0027, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
- Coughlan, Guy & Khalaf-Allah, Marwa & Ye, Yijing & Kumar, Sumit & Cairns, Andrew & Blake, David & Dowd, Kevin, 2011. "Longevity hedging 101: A framework for longevity basis risk analysis and hedge effectiveness," MPRA Paper 35743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.