Did federal funds target rate changes affect the market value of insurance companies?
In this paper, we study the sensitivity of insurance companies’ stock returns with respect to expected and unexpected changes in the Federal funds target rate over the period 1988-2007. We confirm Bernanke and Kuttner (2005) that, as stocks in general, insurance stock returns are only sensitive to the unexpected changes in the Federal funds target rate, but not to the expected ones. However, market-adjusted stock returns do only show a reaction for the non-life insurers. For life insurers, there does not seem to be an industry specific effect on their market value. This can be explained by the business models life and nonlife insurers adopt.
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