The Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center is excited to join forces with several Wharton research centers and labs to form the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Initiative. The ESG Initiative will expand the boundaries of business research and education to deliver essential insights for academics, students, and industry professionals. Learn more about the ESG Initiative here.
Risk Communication and Decision-Making Lab
To better understand and improve individual and collective decision-making in the presence of uncertainty, the Risk Communication and Decision-Making Lab investigates different approaches for framing and providing information to households, businesses, and public sector decision-makers to ensure that they are aware of the risks they face and able to improve their preparedness and response to future adverse events.
Controlling the Risk of Wildfires
Wildfires have caused record-breaking losses that are likely to increase in the future due to the impacts of climate change, with drought, extreme heat, and reduced snowpack contributing to the severity of the fires. Homeowners, communities, and insurance firms all have important roles in curtailing damages from future wildfires. Watch the recording of a virtual event about Mitigating Wildfires, moderated by Howard Kunreuther, here.
Adapting to Climate Change
Cognitive biases, such as myopia, inertia, and herding, cause property owners to avoid investing in long-term measures, such as installing solar panels on their property. We can address these biases with strategies that work with, rather than against, how people naturally make decisions, in concert with short-term economic incentives that meet households’ immediate needs. Recent published work on these topics includes a working paper on Addressing Biases that Impact Homeowners’ Adoption of Solar Panels, an article on how Flood Insurance Finally Acknowledges Climate Change, and an opinion piece on How to overcome cognitive biases against climate action.
Learning from COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be one of the most extensive and complex catastrophic risks the global economy has ever faced. Going forward, discussions and decision-making frameworks are needed to help evaluate risk management strategies to deal with “uninsurable” risks. Alternative options that involve the insurance sector may be able to assist businesses, nonprofits, and local governments in managing future pandemics and other catastrophic and systemic risks.
Choice Architecture and Insurance
Learn how choice architecture can be applied to the context of insurance as well as how Risk Center researchers are investigating underlying decision processes.
Understanding and Managing 21st Century Risks
Research on how individuals perceive risk and make decisions with respect to risk preparedness.
Increasing Mitigation Through Persuasive Messaging
With support from the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research (ACIIR) at the University of Alabama, the Wharton Risk Center is developing audiovisual messages that aim to increase mitigation activities (e.g., installing a high wind resistant roof) among homeowners in hurricane-prone regions of the U.S.
Botzen, W.J.W., Mol, J.M., Robinson, P.J., Zhang, J., Czajkowski, J. (2021). Individual hurricane preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic: Insights for risk communication and emergency management policies. Natural Hazards. 1-16.
Kunreuther, H., Conell-Price, L., Kovacs, P., & Goda, K. (2021). The Impact of a Government Risk Pool and an Opt-Out Framing on Demand for Earthquake Protection . NBER w29144, and SSRN 3901895.
Kunreuther, H. (2021) Flood Insurance Finally Acknowledges Climate Change. Brink. June.
Mol, J.M., W.J.W. Botzen, J.E. Blasch, E.C. Kranzler, and H.C. Kunreuther (2021). All by myself? Testing descriptive social norm-nudges to increase flood preparedness among homeowners. Behavioural Public Policy, 1-33. doi:10.1017/bpp.2021.17
Kunreuther, H., A. Polise, and Q. Spellmeyer (2021). Addressing Biases that Impact Homeowners’ Adoption of Solar Panels. NBER working paper #28678.
Kousky, C., H. Kunreuther, S. Xian, and N. Lin (2021). Adapting Our Flood Risk Policies to Changing Conditions. Forthcoming in Risk Analysis.
Chaudhry, S.J., M. Hand, and H. Kunreuther (2021). Broad bracketing for low probability events. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 61(3), 211-244.
Kunreuther, H. (2020). Risk Management Solutions for Climate Change–Induced Disasters. Risk Analysis. DOI: 10.1111/risa.1361
Kunreuther, H. and M.V. Pauly (2020). Do People Have a Bias for Low-Deductible Insurance? NBER working paper.
Mehr, K. S., Geiser, A. E., Milkman, K. L., & Duckworth, A. L. (2020). Copy-Paste Prompts: A New Nudge to Promote Goal Achievement. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 5(3), 000-000.
Kirgios, E. L., Chang, E. H., Levine, E. E., Milkman, K. L., & Kessler, J. B. (2020). Forgoing earned incentives to signal pure motives. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(29), 16891-16897.
Warren, D. and Schweitzer, M. (2019). When weak sanctioning systems work: Evidence from auto insurance industry fraud investigations. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
Gaspar, J., Methasani, R. and Schweitzer, M. (2019). Fifty Shades of Deception: Characteristics and Consequences of Lying in Negotiations. Academy of Management Perspectives, 33(1), 62-81.
Wilson, M. T. and C. Kousky (2019). The Long Road to Adoption: How Long Does it Take to Adopt Updated County-Level Flood Insurance Rate Maps? Risk, Hazards, & Crisis in Public Policy, 10(4): 403-421
Haer, T., W.J.W. Botzen, and J.C. Aerts (2019). Advancing disaster policies by integrating dynamic adaptive behaviour in risk assessments using an agent-based modelling approach. Environmental Research Letters, 14(4), 044022.
Botzen, W. J,W., H. Kunreuther, J. Czajkowski, and H. de Moel (2019). Adoption of Individual Flood Damage Mitigation Measures in New York City: An Extension of Protection Motivation Theory. Risk Analysis.
Kousky, C. (2018). How America Fails at Communicating Flood Risks. City Lab. October 11.
Kunreuther, H. (2018). Improving the National Flood Insurance Program. Behavioural Public Policy, 1-15.
Robinson, P. J., and W.J.W. Botzen (2018). The impact of regret and worry on the threshold level of concern for flood insurance demand: Evidence from Dutch homeowners. Judgment and Decision Making, 13(3), 237-245.
Meyer, R. and H. Kunreuther (2017) The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters. Philadelphia, PA: Wharton Digital Press.
For a full list of publications, see our main publications page: https://riskcenter.wharton.upenn.edu/publications/
Flood Resilience Research – Collaboration with Zurich Insurance
The Risk Center joined with Zurich and partners to develop key initiatives focused on broadening the scope of flood resilience research, in order to advance global understanding of flood impact, risk reduction, financial protection, and community resilience.
While the world first responded to the spread of the coronavirus and the economic impacts, the Wharton Risk Center engaged with our partners to meaningfully support the management of evolving threats. See past resources here.
Co-Director Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
Research Areas: Climate Adaptation; Disaster Insurance; Communication of Climate Risks; Climate Change Policy
Faculty Director, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
Research Areas: Decision Making Under Risk & Uncertainty; Choice Modeling; Natural Language Processing
Executive Director, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
Research Areas: Disaster Insurance; Natural Disaster Policy; Climate Adaptation
William Maul Measey Professor of Law
Research Areas: Insurance; Liability; Financial Services Regulation
Vice Director, Institute of Insurance Economics (University of St. Gallen)
Research Areas: Catastrophe Risk, Insurance-Linked Securities, Digital Insurance, Sustainable Insurance
Professor of Economics of Climate Change and Natural Disasters, VU University Amsterdam
Research Areas: Climate Change Economics; Natural Disaster Risk Management; Catastrophe Insurance, Individual Decision Making
Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Research Areas: Judgment and Decision Making; Social Communication; Impression Management and Person Perception
Assistant Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, Fox School of Business at Temple University
Research areas: Insurance Economics; Household Finance; Small Business Economics
Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions
Research Areas: Risk & Uncertainty; Deep Decarbonation Pathways; Market Design
Duran President’s Distinguished Professor of Marketing
Research areas: Consumer Psychology; Financial Decision Making; Risk Management
Katherine L. Milkman
Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions
Research Areas: Judgment and Decision Making; Behavioral Economics; Health; Household Finance; Diversity and Inclusion
Assistant Professor of Operations, Information, & Decisions
Research Areas: Judgment and Decision Making; Preference Elicitation; Consumer Psychology
Mark V. Pauly
Bendheim Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy
Research Areas: Health Insurance; Health Policy, Medical Economics; Public Finance/Public Choice
Associate Professor, Business Economics and Public Policy Department
Research Areas: Integrating psychology into economic policy analysis
Assistant Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions
Research Areas: Social Psychology; Organizational Behavior Theory
Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions and Management
Research Areas: Behavioral Decision Research; Deception and Trust; Emotions; Negotiations
President, Decision Research; Prof. of Psychology, University of Oregon
Research Areas: Psychology of Risk and Decision Making
Professor of Management and Faculty Director of the Wharton Leadership Center and McNulty Leadership Program
Research areas: Governance; Management; Leadership