Actuarial practitioners have traditionally utilised conventional economic theory to identify the approach to adopt in economic and financial issues. For example, using the Black-Scholes formula to value options held by their client companies, or relying upon the Efficient Markets Hypothesis to explain and validate the valuation of shareholdings.
The experience of the 2008 economic and financial crisis challenged conventional economic tools, with other schools of economic thought brought into sharp focus. This has opened up a number of questions that the IFoA would like to explore through a research programme focused on economic modelling.
Dr Iain Clacher of Leeds University Business School was engaged in June 2017 to undertake the first phase of the research; a survey of the economic theories used, both explicitly and implicitly, by firms which employ actuaries in the UK. Dr Clacher undertook a series of detailed interviews with a range of experts, both internal and external to the Profession, looking at economic theories in common use in actuarial practice. Dr Clacher's initial findings were discussed at a recent Actuarial Research Centre (ARC) event with senior actuaries and experts, looking at how the Profession could improve economic understanding in areas that inform actuarial work. Following these thought-provoking discussions, ARC and IFoA actuarial volunteers will be progressing further research and stakeholder discussion to ensure the profession is contributing to, and learning from, this important debate. Dr Clacher's report - summarising his research findings - has been published. Download the report.
Face to face interviews with relevant individuals working in firms including, but not limited to, insurance companies, consultancies, banks and pension funds. The research will be carried out in two phases to allow for a round table event at which preliminary results can be used to guide the second phase of research.
The expected initial output of this research is a report summarising Dr Clacher's findings as well as presentations at relevant IFoA events.
Dr Clacher's initial report, June 2019: The report provides a picture of the current opinions of a range of actuaries and economic experts on the subject of economic thought, how the traditional concept of economic thought is changing and the likely impact this change could make on approaches towards long-term investment and risk.
ARC Launch Event, May 2018: The economic modelling programme hosted a round table launch event on 29 May 2018 at Staple Inn Hall, to share thinking so far, following a series of confidential interviews of leading actuarial thinkers in a wide range of roles. An introduction to the ARC's Economic Modelling programme was given by Professor Mark Cross (Chair of the IFoA's Research and Thought Leadership Board). Dr Iain Clacher and Professor Steve Keen also presented at this event. A report summarising Dr Clacher's findings will be available in due course.
IFoA Life Conference, November 2017: Dr Iain Clacher (Leeds University Business School) delivered a workshop on "Economic Theory and Actuarial Practice". Following this, the economic modelling programme will host a round table event to share thinking and look at how the Profession could improve economic thought in actuarial practice.
In the News
'Animal spirits' vs the efficient market hypothesis. Alex Waite asks whether actuaries are evolving to remain relevant in their economic predictions. Read the full article in The Actuary.
In a letter to The Actuary Mr W John Bishop, FIA responds to the article.
|Principal researcher:||Dr Iain Clacher|
|Lead institution:||Leeds University Business School|
|Start date:||01 November 2016|
|End date:||31 May 2019|
If you want more information about our research programmes please contact the IFoA Actuarial Research Centre:
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The Institute for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics (IFAM) at the University of Liverpool is pleased to host the 2019 Actuarial Teachers’ and Researchers’ Conference from 27-28 June 2019. This annual two-day event has been running annually now for many years, each time hosted by a different university, and provides all those interested in actuarial research and education a great opportunity to share their ideas and catch up on the latest developments.
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For more information on the FRG please visit this webpage.
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GIRO is attended annually by over 800 delegates and speakers who are keen to discuss key topics such as Pricing, Reserving, Modelling and the future of the insurance industry. GIRO 2018 was a huge success and we have opened bookings early for what we hope will be another brilliant conference at the EICC in Edinburgh this year.
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The Life Conference is the premier event for professionals interested in life insurance. Offering a wide range of workshops and plenary sessions it’s the perfect opportunity to discover what’s hot and current in life insurance ensuring you get up to date on the latest thinking and innovation whilst meeting and exchanging ideas with a broad range of professionals.
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