Leases for lives : life contingent contracts and the emergence of actuarial science in eighteenth-century England / David R. Bellhouse, University of Western Ontario.Material type: BookPublisher: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2017.Description: 1 online resource (xii, 261 pages) : digital, PDF file(s).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781316282229 (ebook).Subject(s): Life insurance -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century | Actuarial science -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th centuryDDC classification: 368.3200941/09033 Online resources: Click here to access online
Title from publisher's bibliographic system (viewed on 11 Aug 2017).
Introduction -- Mathematics and property in the seventeenth century -- Edmond Halley's life table -- Halley's impact or lack of it -- De Moivre and his early influence -- Mathematicians as consultants -- Mathematicians and early life insurance companies -- The annuity bubble of the 1760s and 70s -- The after shocks of the bubble on life annuities -- Developments in the life insurance industry in the later eighteenth century -- A return to roots -- Conclusion.
Many historians of insurance have commented on the disconnect between the rise of English life insurance companies in the early eighteenth century and the mathematics behind the sound pricing of life insurance products that was developed at about the same time. Insurance and annuity promoters typically ignored this mathematical work. Bellhouse explores this issue, and shows that the early mathematical work was not motivated by insurance but instead by the fair valuation of life contingent contracts related to property. Even the work of the mathematician James Dodson in the creation of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, offering sound actuarially based premiums, did not change the industry in any significant way. The tipping point was a crisis in 1770 in which the philosopher and mathematician Richard Price, as well as other mathematicians, showed that a dozen or more recently formed annuity societies could not meet their financial obligations and were inviable.