Special Aspects of Insurance Economics


Shihao Zhu


Masterseminar 2/0 SWS (4 ECTS)


This seminar takes place as a block seminar. The attendance at all seminar dates is required.

Further Information

If you have any questions, please contact


In this seminar, we are going to focus on some topics in actuarial science including health insurance, behavioral insurance and retirement products. We are specifically dealing with health investment models, topics related to behavioral insurance such as insurance demand under prospect theory and topics related to retirement such as the valuation of tontines. The seminar is based on scientific papers that summarize recent results in this area.


Target group

The seminar is suitable for Master students in Wirtschaftsmathematik, Wirtschaftswissenschaften or Finance. Previous knowledge in Personenversicherungsmathematik, and Derivatives can be helpful.


Seminar performance

Typically, seminar papers are distributed to a group of 2 students.
The seminar performance consists of three parts:

  •  A seminar presentation about a selected topic. The presentation typically includes some
    theoretical derivations / model introduction and some numerical part that applies the
    results in a realistic setup.
    Duration of the presentation: 90 minutes (including discussion).
  • A written formulation of the presentation documents as a support for the participants of
    a maximum length of three pages.
    Delivery of the presentation documents: at least one week before the presentation via email
    to an.chen(at)uni-ulm.de. The presentation documents are created jointly.
  • Active participation in this seminar.

Based on the performance, every participant will be credited with an (internal) grade.

Seminar Papers

1.    Dalgaard, C. J., & Strulik, H. (2014). Optimal aging and death: understanding the Preston curve. Journal of the European Economic Association, 12(3), 672-701.
2.    Yogo, M. (2016). Portfolio choice in retirement: Health risk and the demand for annuities, housing, and risky assets. Journal of Monetary Economics, 80, 17-34.
3.    Hugonnier, J., Pelgrin, F., & St‐Amour, P. (2020). Closing down the shop: Optimal health and wealth dynamics near the end of life. Health economics, 29(2), 138-153.
4.    Cardon, J. H. (2020). Loss aversion and health insurance plan switching. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 180, 955-966.
5.    Gershkov, A., Moldovanu, B., Strack, P., & Zhang, M. (2023). Optimal Insurance: Dual Utility, Random Losses, and Adverse Selection. American Economic Review, 113(10), 2581-2614.
6.    Schmidt, U. (2016). Insurance demand under prospect theory: A graphical analysis. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 83(1), 77-89.
7.    Milevsky, M. A., & Salisbury, T. S. (2015). Optimal retirement income tontines. Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, 64, 91-105.
8.   Chen, A., Hieber, P., & Rach, M. (2021). Optimal retirement products under subjective mortality beliefs. Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, 101, 55-69.
9.    Huang, H., Milevsky, M. A., & Salisbury, T. S. (2017). Retirement spending and biological age. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 84, 58-76.
10.  Chen, H., Sherris, M., Sun, T., & Zhi, W. (2013). Living with ambiguity: Pricing mortality-linked securities with smooth ambiguity preferences. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 80(3), 705-732.
11.  Chen, A., Hieber, P., & Klein, J. K. (2019). Tonuity: A novel individual-oriented retirement plan. ASTIN Bulletin: The Journal of the IAA, 49(1), 5-30.