A contract to insure $1 against inflation is equivalent to a European call option on the consumer price index. When there is no deductible this call option is equivalent to a forward contract on the CPI. Its price is the difference between the prices of a zero coupon real bond and a zero coupon nominal bond, both free of default risk. Provided that the risk-free real rate of interest is positive, the price of such an inflation insurance policy first rises and then falls with time to maturity. It is a decreasing function of the real interest rate and an increasing function of both the expected rate of inflation and the real risk premium on nominal bonds. When a deductible is introduced, the insurance policy can no longer be priced like a CPI forward contract. The option feature has its greatest value when the deductible is close to the forward rate of inflation, defined as the difference between the risk-free nominal and real interest rates. Such inflation insurance contracts are priced using the model developed by Black-Merton-Scholes. Pricing an inflation insurance policy with a cap requires only a minor modification of the model. The approach presented in this paper permits fairly precise quantification of the cost of implementing proposals to index pension benefits for inflation. It also gives us a way of estimating the savings to the Social Security system that would result from introducing a deductible.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1989|
|Publication status:||published as The Journal of Risk and Insurance, December 1990.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Zvi Bodie, 1988. "Inflation, Index-Linked Bonds, and Asset Allocation," NBER Working Papers 2793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin Feldstein, 1983.
"Should Private Pensions Be Indexed?,"
in: Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System, pages 211-230
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002.
Handbook of Public Economics,
in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324
- Alicia H. Munnell & Joseph B. Grolnic, 1986. "Should the U.S. government issue index bonds?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 3-21.
- Hemming, Richard & Kay, John A, 1982. "The Costs of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 300-319, June.
- Zvi Bodie, 1981.
"Investment Strategy in an Inflationary Environment,"
NBER Working Papers
0701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Bodie, 1982. "Investment Strategy in an Inflationary Environment," NBER Chapters, in: The Changing Roles of Debt and Equity in Financing U.S. Capital Formation, pages 47-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert C. Merton, 1973.
"Theory of Rational Option Pricing,"
Bell Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3009. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.