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.
Abstract: The problem of the valuation of life insurance payments with policyholder behavior is studied. First, a simple survival model is considered, and it is shown how cash flows without policyholder behavior can be modified to include surrender and free policy behavior by calculation of simple integrals. In the second part, a more general disability model with recovery is studied. Here, cash flows are determined by solving a modified Kolmogorov forward differential equation. We conclude the paper with numerical examples illustrating the methods proposed and the impact of policyholder behavior.
Abstract: The value of information regarding risk class for a monopoly insurer and its customers is examined in both symmetric and asymmetric information environments. A monopolist always prefers contracting with uninformed customers as this maximizes the rent extracted under symmetric information while also avoiding the cost of adverse selection when information is held asymmetrically. Although customers are indifferent to symmetric information when they are initially uninformed, they prefer contracting with hidden knowledge rather than symmetric information since the monopoly responds to adverse selection by sharing gains from trade with high-risk customers when low risks are predominant in the insurance pool. However, utilitarian social welfare is highest when customers are uninformed, and is higher when information is symmetric rather than asymmetric.
Abstract: The concept of best-estimate, prescribed by regulators to value insurance liabilities for accounting and solvency purposes, has recently been discussed extensively in the industry and related academic literature. To differentiate hedgeable and non-hedgeable risks in a general case, recent literature defines best-estimates using orthogonal projections of a claim on the space of replicable payoffs. In this paper, we apply this concept of best-estimate to long-maturity claims in a market with reinvestment risk, since in this case the total liability cannot easily be separated into hedgeable and non-hedgeable parts. We assume that a limited number of short-maturity bonds are traded, and derive the best-estimate price of bonds with longer maturities, thus obtaining a best-estimate yield curve. We therefore use the multifactor Vasiˇcek model and derive within this framework closed-form expressions for the best-estimate prices of long-term bonds.
Abstract: In this short paper, we study the asymptotics for the price of call options for very large strikes and put options for very small strikes. The stock price is assumed to follow the Black–Scholes models. We analyze European, Asian, American, Parisian and perpetual options and conclude that the tail asymptotics for these option types fall into four scenarios.
Abstract: Due to the strong complexity of financial markets, economics does not have a unified theory of price formation in financial markets. The most common assumption is the Efficient-Market Hypothesis, which has been attacked by a number of researchers, using different tools. There were varying degrees to which these tools complied with the formal definitions of efficiency and predictability. In our earlier work, we analysed the predictability of stock returns at two time scales using the entropy rate, which can be directly linked to the mathematical definition of predictability. Nonetheless, none of the above-mentioned studies allow any general understanding of how the financial markets work, beyond disproving the Efficient-Market Hypothesis. In our previous study, we proposed the Maximum Entropy Production Principle, which uses the entropy rate to create a general principle underlying the price formation processes. Both of these studies show that the predictability of price changes is higher at the transaction level intraday scale than the scale of daily returns, but ignore all scales in between. In this study we extend these ideas using the multiscale entropy analysis framework to enhance our understanding of the predictability of price formation processes at various time scales.