The Effect of Risk-Based Capital on Life Insurers' Investment Portfolios

WFIC 96-21

Posted: 5 May 1998

See all articles by Kathy R. Petroni

Kathy R. Petroni

Michigan State University - Eli Broad College of Business and Eli Broad Graduate School of Management

Douglas A. Shackelford

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 1996

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of risk-based capital (RBC) on life insurers' investment portfolio management. We test for RBC-induced portfolio adjustments by comparing the 1993 change in investment portfolio balances for 1,495 stock life insurers, dichotomized by RBC capitalization, with the annual changes in their balances for the preceding four years (a difference-in-differences approach). Despite widespread expectations of major restructuring in the investments of life insurers, our exhaustive set of tests generally fails to detect a response to the asset risk component of RBC standards. At most, there is weak evidence that the life insurance companies subject to the greatest regulatory oversight and reputational damage under RBC, reduced their holdings in mortgages, preferred stock, and low quality bonds.

JEL Classification: G22

Suggested Citation

Petroni, Kathy Ruby and Shackelford, Douglas A., The Effect of Risk-Based Capital on Life Insurers' Investment Portfolios (March 1996). WFIC 96-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=7514

Kathy Ruby Petroni

Michigan State University - Eli Broad College of Business and Eli Broad Graduate School of Management ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824-1121
United States
517-432-2924 (Phone)
517-432-1101 (Fax)

Douglas A. Shackelford (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

Kenan-Flagler Business School
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States
919-962-3197 (Phone)
919-962-4727 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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