IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Securitizing and tranching longevity exposures


  • Biffis, Enrico
  • Blake, David


We consider the problem of optimally designing longevity risk transfers under asymmetric information. We focus on holders of longevity exposures that have superior knowledge of the underlying demographic risks, but are willing to take them off their balance sheets because of capital requirements. In equilibrium, they transfer longevity risk to uninformed agents at a cost, where the cost is represented by retention of part of the exposure and/or by a risk premium. We use a signalling model to quantify the effects of asymmetric information and emphasize how they compound with parameter uncertainty. We show how the cost of private information can be minimized by suitably tranching securitized cashflows, or, equivalently, by securitizing the exposure in exchange for an option on mortality rates. We also investigate the benefits of pooling several longevity exposures and the impact on tranching levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Biffis, Enrico & Blake, David, 2010. "Securitizing and tranching longevity exposures," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 186-197, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:insuma:v:46:y:2010:i:1:p:186-197

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gourieroux, C. & Monfort, A., 2008. "Quadratic stochastic intensity and prospective mortality tables," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 174-184, August.
    2. Douglas Gale, 1992. "A Walrasian Theory of Markets with Adverse Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 229-255.
    3. David Blake & Andrew Cairns & Kevin Dowd & Richard MacMinn, 2006. "Longevity Bonds: Financial Engineering, Valuation, and Hedging," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(4), pages 647-672.
    4. Peter DeMarzo & Darrell Duffie, 1999. "A Liquidity-Based Model of Security Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 65-100, January.
    5. Alex Cowley & J. David Cummins, 2005. "Securitization of Life Insurance Assets and Liabilities," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(2), pages 193-226.
    6. Dana, Rose-Anne & Scarsini, Marco, 2007. "Optimal risk sharing with background risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 152-176, March.
    7. Coughlan Guy D. & Epstein David & Khalaf-Allah Marwa & Watts Chris S., 2008. "Hedging Pension Longevity Risk: Practical Capital Markets Solutions," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, September.
    8. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
    9. Duffie Darrell & Rahi Rohit, 1995. "Financial Market Innovation and Security Design: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-42, February.
    10. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    11. Peter M. DeMarzo, 2005. "The Pooling and Tranching of Securities: A Model of Informed Intermediation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 1-35.
    12. Blake David & Cairns Andrew & Dowd Kevin, 2008. "The Birth of the Life Market," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-32, September.
    13. L. Eeckhoudt & C. Gollier & H. Schlesinger, 2005. "Economic and financial decisions under risk," Post-Print hal-00325882, HAL.
    14. Mailath, George J, 1987. "Incentive Compatibility in Signaling Games with a Continuum of Types," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1349-1365, November.
    15. Blake, D. & Cairns, A. J. G. & Dowd, K., 2006. "Living with Mortality: Longevity Bonds and Other Mortality-Linked Securities," British Actuarial Journal, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 153-197, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:cup:jfinqa:v:52:y:2017:i:05:p:2251-2275_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:bla:jrinsu:v:84:y:2017:i:s1:p:459-475 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Anja De Waegenaere & Bertrand Melenberg & Ralph Stevens, 2010. "Longevity Risk," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(2), pages 151-192, June.
    4. Enrico Biffis & David Blake & Lorenzo Pitotti & Ariel Sun, 2016. "The Cost of Counterparty Risk and Collateralization in Longevity Swaps," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 83(2), pages 387-419, June.
    5. Bisetti, Emilio & Favero, Carlo A. & Nocera, Giacomo & Tebaldi, Claudio, 2017. "A Multivariate Model of Strategic Asset Allocation with Longevity Risk," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(05), pages 2251-2275, October.
    6. 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;The Geneva Association, vol. 36(4), pages 489-500, October.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:bla:jrinsu:v:84:y:2017:i:3:p:987-1023 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. M. Martin Boyer & Théodora Dupont-Courtade, 2013. "The Market for Reinsurance," CIRANO Working Papers 2013s-06, CIRANO.
    10. Blake, David & Biffs, Enrico, 2012. "Keeping Some Skin in the Game: How to Start a Capital Market in Longevity Risk Transfers," MPRA Paper 44680, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Wong, Tat Wing & Chiu, Mei Choi & Wong, Hoi Ying, 2014. "Time-consistent mean–variance hedging of longevity risk: Effect of cointegration," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 56-67.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:bla:jrinsu:v:84:y:2017:i:s1:p:515-532 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Luciano, Elisa & Regis, Luca, 2014. "Efficient versus inefficient hedging strategies in the presence of financial and longevity (value at) risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 68-77.
    15. Stevens, R.S.P. & De Waegenaere, A.M.B. & Melenberg, B., 2011. "Longevity Risk and Natural Hedge Potential in Portfolios Of Life Insurance Products : The Effect of Investment Risk," Discussion Paper 2011-036, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:insuma:v:46:y:2010:i:1:p:186-197. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.