Abstract: Given that the insurance market is characterized by asymmetric information, its efficiency has traditionally been based to a large extent on risk classification. In certain regulations, however, we can find restrictions on these differentiations, primarily the ban on those considered to be “discriminatory”. In 2011, following the European Union Directive 2004/113/EC, the European Court of Justice concluded that any gender-based discrimination was prohibited, meaning that gender equality in the European Union had to be ensured from 21 December 2012. Another restriction was imposed by EU and national competition regulation on the exchange of information considered as anti-competitive behavior. This paper aims to contribute to the recent policy debate in the EU, evaluating the negative economic consequences of these regulatory restrictions in terms of market efficiency.
Abstract: This paper develops a financial stress measure for the United States, the Cleveland Financial Stress Index (CFSI). The index is based on publicly available data describing a six-market partition of the financial system comprising credit, funding, real estate, securitization, foreign exchange, and equity markets. This paper improves upon existing stress measures by objectively selecting between several index weighting methodologies across a variety of monitoring frequencies through comparison against a volatility-based benchmark series. The resulting measure facilitates the decomposition of stress to identify disruptions in specific markets and provides insight into historical stress regimes.
Abstract: In the paper, we introduce a multi-objective scenario-based optimization approach for chance-constrained portfolio selection problems. More specifically, a modified version of the normal constraint method is implemented with a global solver in order to generate a dotted approximation of the Pareto frontier for bi- and tri-objective programming problems. Numerical experiments are carried out on a set of portfolios to be optimized for an EU-based non-life insurance company. Both performance indicators and risk measures are managed as objectives. Results show that this procedure is effective and readily applicable to achieve suitable risk-reward tradeoff analysis.
Abstract: This paper develops an extended financial stress measure that considers the supervisory objective of identifying risks to the stability of the financial system. The measure provides a continuous and bounded signal of financial stress using daily public market data. Broad coverage of material financial system markets over time is achieved by leveraging dynamic credit weights. We consider how this measure can be used to monitor, analyze, and alert financial system stress.
Abstract: In this paper, we study the valuation of stochastic cash flows that exhibit dependence on interest rates. We focus on insurance liability cash flows linked to an index, such as a consumer price index or wage index, where changes in the index value can be partially understood in terms of changes in the term structure of interest rates. Insurance liability cash flows that are not explicitly linked to an index may still be valued in our framework by interpreting index returns as so-called claims inflation, i.e., an increase in claims cost per sold insurance contract. We focus primarily on the case when a deep and liquid market for index-linked contracts is absent or when the market price data are unreliable. Firstly, we present an approach for assigning a monetary value to a stochastic cash flow that does not require full knowledge of the joint dynamics of the cash flow and the term structure of interest rates. Secondly, we investigate in detail model selection, estimation and validation in a Heath–Jarrow–Morton framework. Finally, we analyze the effects of model uncertainty on the valuation of the cash flows and how forecasts of cash flows and interest rates translate into model parameters and affect the valuation.
Abstract: For pension-savers, a low payoff is a financial disaster. Such investors will most likely prefer left-skewed payoff distributions over right-skewed payoff distributions. We explore how such distributions can be delivered. Cautious-relaxed utility measures are cautious in ensuring that payoffs don’t fall much below a reference value, but relaxed about exceeding it. We find that the payoff distribution delivered by a cautious-relaxed utility measure has appealing features which payoff distributions delivered by traditional utility functions don’t. In particular, cautious-relaxed distributions can have the mass concentrated on the left, hence be left-skewed. However, cautious-relaxed strategies prescribe frequent portfolio adjustments which may be expensive if transaction costs are charged. In contrast, more traditional strategies can be time-invariant. Thus we investigate the impact of transaction costs on the appeal of cautious-relaxed strategies. We find that relatively high transaction fees are required for the cautious-relaxed strategy to lose its appeal. This paper contributes to the literature which compares utility measures by the payoff distributions they produce and finds that a cautious-relaxed utility measure will deliver payoffs that many investors will prefer.