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Economic Perspectives, 37, 2nd, 2013
The Sensitivity of Life Insurance Firms to Interest Rate Changes

The authors examine the interest rate risk of life insurers by estimating the sensitivity of their stock returns to changes in the return on bonds over a time frame that includes a relatively calm period before the recent financial crisis, the financial crisis itself, and the recent period of low interest rates. They find that when bonds increase in value (that is, when interest rates fall), stocks of large insurance firms decrease in value more than those of their smaller counterparts.



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