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A Two-Factor Model for Stochastic Mortality with Parameter Uncertainty: Theory and Calibration


  • Andrew J. G. Cairns
  • David Blake
  • Kevin Dowd


In this article, we consider the evolution of the post-age-60 mortality curve in the United Kingdom and its impact on the pricing of the risk associated with aggregate mortality improvements over time: so-called longevity risk. We introduce a two-factor stochastic model for the development of this curve through time. The first factor affects mortality-rate dynamics at all ages in the same way, whereas the second factor affects mortality-rate dynamics at higher ages much more than at lower ages. The article then examines the pricing of longevity bonds with different terms to maturity referenced to different cohorts. We find that longevity risk over relatively short time horizons is very low, but at horizons in excess of ten years it begins to pick up very rapidly. Copyright The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2006.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:73:y:2006:i:4:p:687-718

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cassio M. Turra & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2004. "The Impact of Health Status and Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures on Annuity Valuation," Working Papers wp086, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. Jeffrey R. Brown & Amy Finkelstein, 2008. "The Interaction of Public and Private Insurance: Medicaid and the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1083-1102, June.
    3. Kent A. Smetters, 2003. "Trading with the Unborn: A New Perspective on Capital Income Taxation," NBER Working Papers 9412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Henning Bohn, 2003. "Will Social Security and Medicare Remain Viable as the U.S. Population is Aging? An Update," CESifo Working Paper Series 1062, CESifo Group Munich.
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