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Interest Rate Risk and Equity Values of Life Insurance Companies: A GARCH-M Model


  • Elijah Brewer
  • James M. Carson
  • Elyas Elyasiani
  • Iqbal Mansur
  • William L. Scott


The importance of managerial decisions related to interest-sensitive cash flows has received considerable attention in the insurance literature. Consistent with the interest-sensitive nature of insurer assets and liabilities, empirical research has shown that insurer insolvency is significantly related to interest rate volatility. We investigate the interest rate sensitivity of monthly stock returns of life insurers based on a generalized autoregressive conditionally heteroskedastic in the mean (GARCH-M) model. We examine three different portfolios (equally weighted, risk-based, and size-based) with binary variables to explicitly account for varying interest rate strategies adopted by the Federal Reserve System. Results based on data for the period 1975 through 2000 indicate that life insurer equity values are sensitive to long-term interest rates and that interest sensitivity varies across subperiods and across risk-based and size-based portfolios. The results complement insolvency research that links insurer financial performance to changes in interest rates. Copyright The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Elijah Brewer & James M. Carson & Elyas Elyasiani & Iqbal Mansur & William L. Scott, 2007. "Interest Rate Risk and Equity Values of Life Insurance Companies: A GARCH-M Model," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(2), pages 401-423.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:74:y:2007:i:2:p:401-423

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    Cited by:

    1. DE CEUSTER, Marc J.K. & LI, Jie & ZHANG, Hairui, 2012. "Did federal funds target rate changes affect the market value of insurance companies?," Working Papers 2012027, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    2. Jiang Cheng & Elyas Elyasiani & Tzu-Ting Lin, 2010. "Market Reaction to Regulatory Action in the Insurance Industry: The Case of Contingent Commission," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(2), pages 347-368.
    3. Berdin, Elia, 2016. "Interest rate risk, longevity risk and the solvency of life insurers," ICIR Working Paper Series 23/16, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    4. James M. Carson & Elyas Elyasiani & Iqbal Mansur, 2008. "Market Risk, Interest Rate Risk, and Interdependencies in Insurer Stock Returns: A System-GARCH Model," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 873-891.
    5. Elyas Elyasiani & Iqbal Mansur & Jill Wetmore, 2010. "Real-Estate Risk Effects on Financial Institutions’ Stock Return Distribution: a Bivariate GARCH Analysis," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 89-107, January.
    6. Marc-Gregor Czaja & Hendrik Scholz & Marco Wilkens, 2009. "Interest rate risk of German financial institutions: the impact of level, slope, and curvature of the term structure," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 1-26, July.
    7. Kyal Berends & Robert McMenamin & Thanases Plestis & Richard J. Rosen, 2013. "The sensitivity of life insurance firms to interest rate changes," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 47-78.
    8. Mojisola Olugbode & Ahmed El-Masry & John Pointon, 2014. "Exchange Rate and Interest Rate Exposure of UK Industries Using First-order Autoregressive Exponential GARCH-in-mean (EGARCH-M) Approach," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82(4), pages 409-464, July.
    9. Papadamou, Stephanos & Sidiropoulos, Moïse & Spyromitros, Eleftherios, 2017. "Interest rate dynamic effect on stock returns and central bank transparency: Evidence from emerging markets," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 951-962.
    10. Papadamou, Stephanos & Siriopoulos, Costas, 2014. "Interest rate risk and the creation of the Monetary Policy Committee: Evidence from banks’ and life insurance companies’ stocks in the UK," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 45-67.
    11. Hartley, Daniel & Paulson, Anna L. & Rosen, Richard J., 2016. "Measuring Interest Rate Risk in the Life Insurance Sector: The U.S. and the U.K," Working Paper Series WP-2016-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    12. Jin Park & B. Paul Choi, 2011. "Interest rate sensitivity of US property/liability insurer stock returns," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 134-150, January.
    13. Möhlmann, Axel, 2017. "Interest rate risk of life insurers: Evidence from accounting data," Discussion Papers 10/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    14. Christos Kollias & Stephanos Papadamou, 2016. "Environmentally Responsible and Conventional Market Indices’ Reaction to Natural and Anthropogenic Adversity: A Comparative Analysis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 493-505, October.

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