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Jel Classification:C15 

Working Paper
Variable Annuities: Underlying Risks and Sensitivities

This paper presents a quantitative model designed to understand the sensitivity of variable annuity (VA) contracts to market and actuarial assumptions and how these sensitivities make them a potentially important source of risk to insurance companies during times of stress. VA contracts often include long dated guarantees of market performance that expose the insurer to multiple nondiversifiable risks. Our modeling framework employs a Monte Carlo simulation of asset returns and policyholder behavior to derive fair prices for variable annuities in a risk neutral framework and to estimate ...
Supervisory Research and Analysis Working Papers , Paper RPA 19-1

Report
Time-Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy: a Corrigendum

This note corrects a mistake in the estimation algorithm of the time-varying structural vector autoregression model of Primiceri (2005) and shows how to correctly apply the procedure of Kim, Shephard, and Chib (1998) to the estimation of VAR, DSGE, factor, and unobserved components models with stochastic volatility. Relative to Primiceri (2005), the main difference in the new algorithm is the ordering of the various Markov Chain Monte Carlo steps, with each individual step remaining the same.
Staff Reports , Paper 619

Working Paper
Easy Bootstrap-Like Estimation of Asymptotic Variances

The bootstrap is a convenient tool for calculating standard errors of the parameter estimates of complicated econometric models. Unfortunately, the bootstrap can be very time-consuming. In a recent paper, Honor and Hu (2017), we propose a ?Poor (Wo)man's Bootstrap? based on one-dimensional estimators. In this paper, we propose a modified, simpler method and illustrate its potential for estimating asymptotic variances.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2018-11

Working Paper
Self-employment and health care reform: evidence from Massachusetts

We study the e ect of the Massachusetts health care reform on the uninsured rate and the self-employment rate in the state. The reform required all individuals to obtain health insurance, required most employers to o er health insurance to their employees, formed a private marketplace that o ered subsidized health insurance options and ex- panded public insurance. We examine data from the Current Population Survey (CPS)for 1994-2012 and its Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement for 1996-2013. We show that the reform led to a dramatic reduction in the state's uninsured rate due to ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 14-16

Working Paper
BLP Estimation Using Laplace Transformation and Overlapping Simulation Draws

We derive the asymptotic distribution of the parameters of the Berry et al. (1995, BLP) model in a many markets setting which takes into account simulation noise under the assumption of overlapping simulation draws. We show that, as long as the number of simulation draws R and the number of markets T approach infinity, our estimator is ?m = ?min(R,T) consistent and asymptotically normal. We do not impose any relationship between the rates at which R and T go to infinity, thus allowing for the case of R
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-24

Working Paper
Bayesian Estimation of Time-Changed Default Intensity Models

We estimate a reduced-form model of credit risk that incorporates stochastic volatility in default intensity via stochastic time-change. Our Bayesian MCMC estimation method overcomes nonlinearity in the measurement equation and state-dependent volatility in the state equation. We implement on firm-level time-series of CDS spreads, and find strong in-sample evidence of stochastic volatility in this market. Relative to the widely-used CIR model for the default intensity, we find that stochastic time-change offers modest benefit in fitting the cross-section of CDS spreads at each point in time, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-2

Working Paper
Measuring Transaction Costs in the Absence of Timestamps

This paper develops measures of transaction costs in the absence of transaction timestamps and information about who initiates transactions, which are data limitations that often arise in studies of over-the-counter markets. I propose new measures of the effective spread and study the performance of all estimators analytically, in simulations, and present an empirical illustration with small-cap stocks for the 2005-2014 period. My theoretical, simulation, and empirical results provide new insights into measuring transaction costs and may help guide future empirical work.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-045

Working Paper
A Likelihood-Based Comparison of Macro Asset Pricing Models

We estimate asset pricing models with multiple risks: long-run growth, long-run volatility, habit, and a residual. The Bayesian estimation accounts for the entire likelihood of consumption, dividends, and the price-dividend ratio. We find that the residual represents at least 80% of the variance of the price-dividend ratio. Moreover, the residual tracks most recognizable features of stock market history such as the 1990's boom and bust. Long run risks and habit contribute primarily in crises. The dominance of the residual comes from the low correlation between asset prices and consumption ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-024

Working Paper
Tempered Particle Filtering

The accuracy of particle filters for nonlinear state-space models crucially depends on the proposal distribution that mutates time t-1 particle values into time t values. In the widely-used bootstrap particle filter this distribution is generated by the state-transition equation. While straightforward to implement, the practical performance is often poor. We develop a self-tuning particle filter in which the proposal distribution is constructed adaptively through a sequence of Monte Carlo steps. Intuitively, we start from a measurement error distribution with an inflated variance, and then ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-072

Working Paper
Complementarity and Macroeconomic Uncertainty

Macroeconomic uncertainty—the conditional volatility of the unforecastable component of a future value of a time series—shows considerable variation in the data. A typical assumption in business cycle models is that production is Cobb-Douglas. Under that assumption, this paper shows there is usually little, if any, endogenous variation in output uncertainty, and first moment shocks have similar effects in all states of the economy. When the model departs from Cobb-Douglas production and assumes capital and labor are gross complements, first-moment shocks have state-dependent effects and ...
Working Papers , Paper 2009

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