Life Is Cheap: Using Mortality Bonds to Hedge Aggregate Mortality Risk
Insurance 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.
If 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.
Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, "undated". "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 & James M. Poterba & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1997. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," NBER Working Papers 6002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ronald Lee & Timothy Miller, 2001. "Evaluating the performance of the lee-carter method for forecasting mortality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(4), pages 537-549, November.
- 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.
- Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2003. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," NBER Working Papers 9714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Anthony Webb & Shenyi Jiang & Wei Sun, 2010. "Did the Housing Boom Increase Household Spending," Issues in Brief ib2010-10, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jul 2010.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 2003. "The equity premium in retrospect," Handbook of the Economics of Finance,in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 889-938 Elsevier.
- Rajnish Mehra & Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "The Equity Premium in Retrospect," NBER Working Papers 9525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Renshaw, A. E. & Haberman, S., 2003. "Lee-Carter mortality forecasting with age-specific enhancement," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 255-272, October.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)