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Shadow Insurance

  • Ralph S.J. Koijen
  • Motohiro Yogo

Liabilities ceded by life insurers to shadow reinsurers (i.e., less regulated and unrated off-balance-sheet entities) grew from $11 billion in 2002 to $364 billion in 2012. Life insurers using shadow insurance, which capture half of the market share, ceded 25 cents of every dollar insured to shadow reinsurers in 2012, up from 2 cents in 2002. Our adjustment for shadow insurance reduces risk-based capital by 53 percentage points (or 3 rating notches) and increases default probabilities by a factor of 3.5. We develop a structural model of the life insurance industry and estimate the impact of current policy proposals to limit or eliminate shadow insurance. In the counterfactual without shadow insurance, the average company using shadow insurance would raise prices by 10 to 21 percent, and annual life insurance underwritten would fall by 7 to 16 percent for the industry.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19568.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19568
Note: AP CF PE
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  1. Motohiro Yogo & Ralph Koijen, 2012. "The Cost of Financial Frictions for Life Insurers," 2012 Meeting Papers 83, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Yogo, Motohiro & Koijen, Ralph S.J. & Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2014. "Health and Mortality Delta: Assessing the Welfare Cost of Household Insurance Choice," Staff Report 499, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Kenneth A. Froot, 1999. "The Market for Catastrophe Risk: A Clinical Examination," NBER Working Papers 7286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Acharya, Viral V. & Schnabl, Philipp & Suarez, Gustavo, 2013. "Securitization without risk transfer," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 515-536.
  5. Zoltan Pozsar & Tobias Adrian & Adam Ashcraft & Hayley Boesky, 2010. "Shadow banking," Staff Reports 458, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Merrill, Craig B. & Nadauld, Taylor & Stulz, Rene M. & Sherlund, Shane M., 2012. "Did Capital Requirements and Fair Value Accounting Spark Fire Sales in Distressed Mortgage-Backed Securities?," Working Paper Series 2012-12, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  7. Adiel, Ron, 1996. "Reinsurance and the management of regulatory ratios and taxes in the property--casualty insurance industry," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 207-240, October.
  8. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Motohiro Yogo & Ralph S.J. Koijen, 2009. "Optimal Health and Longevity Insurance," 2009 Meeting Papers 185, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Paul Schrimpf, 2010. "Optimal Mandates and the Welfare Cost of Asymmetric Information: Evidence From the U.K. Annuity Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 1031-1092, 05.
  10. Andrew Ellul & Chotibhak Jotikasthira & Christian T. Lundblad & Yihui Wang, 2012. "Is Historical Cost Accounting a Panacea? Market Stress, Incentive Distortions, and Gains Trading," FMG Discussion Papers dp701, Financial Markets Group.
  11. Bo Becker & Victoria Ivashina, 2013. "Reaching for Yield in the Bond Market," NBER Working Papers 18909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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