Longevity Greeks: What Do Insurers and Capital Market Investors Need to Know?

Kenneth Q. Zhou, Johnny Siu Hang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Recently, it has been argued that capital markets may share some of the overwhelming longevity risk exposures borne by the pension and life insurance industries. The transfer of risk can be accomplished by trading standardized derivatives such as q-forwards that are linked to published mortality indexes. To strategize such trades, one may utilize longevity Greeks, which are analogous to equity Greeks that have been used extensively in managing stock price risk. In this article, we first derive three important longevity Greeks—delta, gamma, and vega—on the basis of an extended version of the Lee-Carter model that incorporates stochastic volatility. We then study the properties of each longevity Greek and estimate the levels of effectiveness that different longevity Greek hedges can possibly achieve. The results reveal several interesting facts; for example, in a delta–vega hedge formed by q-forwards, the choice of reference ages does not materially affect hedge effectiveness, but the choice of times to maturity does. These facts may aid insurers to better formulate their hedge portfolios and issuers of mortality-linked securities to determine what security structures are more likely to attract liquidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S66-S96
JournalNorth American Actuarial Journal
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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