Longevity risk modeling, securities pricing and other related issues



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This dissertation studies the adverse financial implications of "longevity risk" and "mortality risk", which have attracted the growing attention of insurance companies, annuity providers, pension funds, public policy decision-makers, and investment banks. Securitization of longevity/mortality risk provides insurers and pension funds an effective, low-cost approach to transferring the longevity/mortality risk from their balance sheets to capital markets. The modeling and forecasting of the mortality rate is the key point in pricing mortality-linked securities that facilitates the emergence of liquid markets. First, this dissertation introduces the discrete models proposed in previous literature. The models include: the Lee-Carter Model, the Renshaw Haberman Model, The Currie Model, the Cairns-Blake-Dowd (CBD) Model, the Cox-Lin-Wang (CLW) Model and the Chen-Cox Model. The different models have captured different features of the historical mortality time series and each one has their own advantages. Second, this dissertation introduces a stochastic diffusion model with a double exponential jump diffusion (DEJD) process for mortality time-series and is the first to capture both asymmetric jump features and cohort effect as the underlying reasons for the mortality trends. The DEJD model has the advantage of easy calibration and mathematical tractability. The form of the DEJD model is neat, concise and practical. The DEJD model fits the actual data better than previous stochastic models with or without jumps. To apply the model, the implied risk premium is calculated based on the Swiss Re mortality bond price. The DEJD model is the first to provide a closed-form solution to price the q-forward, which is the standard financial derivative product contingent on the LifeMetrics index for hedging longevity or mortality risk. Finally, the DEJD model is applied in modeling and pricing of life settlement products. A life settlement is a financial transaction in which the owner of a life insurance policy sells an unneeded policy to a third party for more than its cash value and less than its face value. The value of the life settlement product is the expected discounted value of the benefit discounted from the time of death. Since the discount function is convex, it follows by Jensen's Inequality that the expected value of the function of the discounted benefit till random time of death is always greater than the benefit discounted by the expected time of death. So, the pricing method based on only the life expectancy has the negative bias for pricing the life settlement products. I apply the DEJD mortality model using the Whole Life Time Distribution Dynamic Pricing (WLTDDP) method. The WLTDDP method generates a complete life table with the whole distribution of life times instead of using only the expected life time (life expectancy). When a life settlement underwriter's gives an expected life time for the insured, information theory can be used to adjust the DEJD mortality table to obtain a distribution that is consistent with the underwriter projected life expectancy that is as close as possible to the DEJD mortality model. The WLTDDP method, incorporating the underwriter information, provides a more accurate projection and evaluation for the life settlement products. Another advantage of WLTDDP is that it incorporates the effect of dynamic longevity risk changes by using an original life table generated from the DEJD mortality model table.