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A General framework for modelling mortality to better estimate its relationship with interest rate risks

Apicella, Giovanna and Dacorogna, Michel M (2016): A General framework for modelling mortality to better estimate its relationship with interest rate risks.

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The need for having a good knowledge of the degree of dependence between various risks is fundamental for understanding their real impacts and consequences, since dependence reduces the possibility to diversify the risks.

This paper expands in a more theoretical approach the methodology developed in for exploring the dependence between mortality and market risks in case of stress. In particular, we investigate, using the Feller process, the relationship between mortality and interest rate risks. These are the primary sources of risk for life (re)insurance companies. We apply the Feller process to both mortality and interest rate intensities.

Our study cover both the short and the long-term interest rates (3m and 10y) as well as the mortality indices of ten developed countries and extending over the same time horizon. Specifically, this paper deals with the stochastic modelling of mortality. We calibrate two different specifications of the Feller process (a two-parameters Feller process and a three-parameters one) to the survival probabilities of the generation of males born in 1940 in ten developed countries. Looking simultaneously at different countries gives us the possibility to find regularities that go beyond one particular case and are general enough to gain more confidence in the results. The calibration provides in most of the cases a very good fit to the data extrapolated from the mortality tables. On the basis of the principle of parsimony, we choose the two-parameters Feller process, namely the hypothesis with the fewer assumptions. These results provide the basis to study the dynamics of both risks and their dependence.

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