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Research projects

Generational Wealth Accounts

With Prof James Sefton, I designed a framework that allows all inter-generational transfers in an economy to be measured.  Our framework generalizes Generational Accounting to the whole economy, and represents the capital counterpart to the National Transfer Account flows.  This work has been published in the Economic Journal.  Current projects include working on GWA's for the US and France, and calculating GWA's by socio-economic status, with our European colleagues.  More details can be found on the project website by clicking below.

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Old-age human mortality & its impact on public and private finances

With my former PhD student, Po-Lin Wang, I have an active research agenda in understanding the likely future path of human mortality.  We have developed a novel Bayesian approach that fits mortality patterns to birth cohorts, which provides greater insight into biological and other processes governing old-age mortality.   This work has been published in the North American Actuarial Journal, the Journal of Risk and Insurance, and Insurance: Mathematics and Economics.  Our latest paper is under review at PLoS One.

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Pension insurance

In many countries, the liabilities of defined benefit pension funds are insured.  I authored a series of papers with Prof Anthony Neuberger, published in Fiscal Studies, examining the pricing and premium structure of pension insurers.  I have continued this work by examining the theory of multi-period insurance in the presence of moral hazard, currently under second-round review at the North American Actuarial Journal. There are close analogies between PBGC insurance and FDIC insurance.

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Annuities markets

I have examined adverse selection in annuities markets across the world, published in the North American Actuarial Journal.  Work has also been published in book chapters.

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National Transfer Accounts

National Transfer Accounts measure current (i.e. not capital) resource flows between different generations in a population in a given time period.  They are widely used (e.g. by the UN population division) when trying to understand the implications of population ageing around the world.  With Prof James Sefton, I form part of the UK's National Transfer Accounts team.  More details can be found by clicking below.  We have published papers in Science and the Population and Development Review.

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Pension funds

I have a long-standing interest in pension funds.  Current projects include assessing how pension incentives affect labor supply at the intensive margin in Philadelphia, currently in second-round review at the Journal of Risk and Insurance.  Previous projects include analyzing the optimal portfolio allocation in corporate pension funds, published in European Financial Management, the role of housing in pension portfolios in Singapore, published in the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, and examining the rationale for employer pensions, published in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

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Theory of insurance

Insurance companies are financial institutions that provide policyholders with protection against risk by pooling large numbers of policyholder risks together to reduce the risk of the average claim.   I have worked on various aspects of insurance theory - including underwriting cycles, published in the North American Actuarial Journal, and moral hazard in multi-period insurance contracts, currently under second-round review at the same journal.    

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