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Survivor Bonds: A Comment on Blake and Burrows


  • Kevin Dowd


This article offers a critical assessment of the "survivor bonds" (SBs) proposal recently put forward by Blake and Burrows, which calls for the government to issue bonds whose coupon payments are contingent on the proportions of retirees surviving to particular ages. It suggests that the proposal has considerable merit and discusses the circumstances in which SBs would be useful risk management tools for insurance companies. It also discusses alternatives such as reinsurance, hedging with life contracts, dynamic hedging, and other forms of survivor derivative. Finally, it evaluates and rejects the argument that SBs should be issued by the state. Copyright 2003 The Journal of Risk and Insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:70:y:2003:i:2:p:339-348

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    Cited by:

    1. Man Chung Fung & Katja Ignatieva & Michael Sherris, 2015. "Managing Systematic Mortality Risk in Life Annuities: An Application of Longevity Derivatives," Papers 1508.00090,
    2. Ngai, Andrew & Sherris, Michael, 2011. "Longevity risk management for life and variable annuities: The effectiveness of static hedging using longevity bonds and derivatives," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 100-114, July.
    3. Hwang Yawen & Huang Hong-Chih, 2012. "Modified Logistic Model for Mortality Forecasting and the Application of Mortality-Linked Securities," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, February.
    4. Bohm, Thomas & Waldvogel, Felix, 2012. "Etablierung eines außerbörslichen Kapitalmarktes für das Langlebigkeitsrisiko," Bayreuth Working Papers on Finance, Accounting and Taxation (FAcT-Papers) 2012-02, University of Bayreuth, Chair of Finance and Banking.
    5. Chou-Wen Wang & Sharon S. Yang, 2013. "Pricing Survivor Derivatives With Cohort Mortality Dependence Under the Lee–Carter Framework," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(4), pages 1027-1056, December.
    6. Wang, Chou-Wen & Yang, Sharon S. & Huang, Hong-Chih, 2015. "Modeling multi-country mortality dependence and its application in pricing survivor index swaps—A dynamic copula approach," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 30-39.
    7. Fung, Man Chung & Ignatieva, Katja & Sherris, Michael, 2014. "Systematic mortality risk: An analysis of guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits in variable annuities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 103-115.
    8. Jennifer L. Wang & H.C. Huang & Sharon S. Yang & Jeffrey T. Tsai, 2010. "An Optimal Product Mix for Hedging Longevity Risk in Life Insurance Companies: The Immunization Theory Approach," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(2), pages 473-497.
    9. Friedberg Leora & Webb Anthony, 2007. "Life Is Cheap: Using Mortality Bonds to Hedge Aggregate Mortality Risk," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-33, July.
    10. David Blake & Andrew Cairns & Guy Coughlan & Kevin Dowd & Richard MacMinn, 2013. "The New Life Market," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(3), pages 501-558, September.
    11. Blake, David & Boardman, Tom & Cairns, Andrew, 2010. "Sharing longevity risk: Why governments should issue longevity bonds," MPRA Paper 34184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Rihab Bedoui & Islem Kedidi, 2018. "Modeling Longevity Risk using Consistent Dynamics Affine Mortality Models," Working Papers hal-01678050, HAL.
    13. Wills, Samuel & Sherris, Michael, 2010. "Securitization, structuring and pricing of longevity risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 173-185, February.
    14. Tsai, Jeffrey T. & Wang, Jennifer L. & Tzeng, Larry Y., 2010. "On the optimal product mix in life insurance companies using conditional value at risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 235-241, February.

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