Past Sessions

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  • Faculty at Wharton

    Insuring High Risks Fairly

    Professor Howard KunreutherJune 23

    The reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (set to expire in September) encompasses issues of risk transparency and fairness. There is general agreement that floodplain residents need to know their risk-based insurance premium–and with that information, how to make their homes safer and thus make flood insurance more affordable. This talk, by Professor Howard Kunreuther, will discuss the importance of accurate mapping of flood risk, how to encourage investment in cost effective mitigation measures, and ways to deal with fairness and affordability in designing a flood insurance program for the future. Your familiarity with these topics will be helpful as you review proposed legislation for the NFIP reauthorization.

    behavioral economics|insurance|podcast|right|risk management
    View summary »

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides federally administered flood insurance, is up for reauthorization in September. Since its inception in 1968, the NFIP has been amended several times. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 was written to address the insolvency of the NFIP by moving to a risk-based premium model for many homes in flood-prone areas, some of which were being charged a subsidized flood insurance premium. Implementation of Biggert-Waters was delayed, however, with the passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.  With the continued concern over the financial solvency of the NFIP, the reauthorization will need to address two core questions: (1) What does it mean to implement a risk- based premium? And (2) What does it mean to deal with issues of fairness and affordability?

  • Kevin Werbach

    Blockchain: The Rise of Trustless Trust?

    Professor Kevin WerbachMay 19

    At a time when public confidence in major societal institutions seems to be under siege, the blockchain offers an intriguing new paradigm for establishing trust in human transactions. The blockchain, through its use of secure cryptography and reliance on distributed consensus networks, is the basis for “trustless trust”—that is, it makes it possible for people to trust the output of the blockchain system without trusting any actor within it. The blockchain will need governance mechanisms, however, in order to realize its enormous potential. In this seminar, Professor Kevin Werbach will discuss in more detail how the respective roles of blockchain platforms and more traditional legal mechanisms can be made to work together.

    View summary » Blockchain is a term that is used for a family of distributed ledger technologies (DLT). Although there is one virtual ledger, every participant in the network has a copy, allowing for local control of data and transparency while ensuring all ledgers remain in sync.
  • Professor Jennifer Blouin

    Effects of the U.S. Worldwide Tax Regime on Domestic Investment

    Professor Jennifer BlouinApril 28

    In 2013, US companies held $2 trillion in indefinitely reinvested earnings abroad. How and why they continue to do this is central to the debate surrounding US international tax policy and carries broader repercussions for the domestic economy. In this lecture, Professor Blouin will speak about differences in corporate tax regimes worldwide; the state of foreign US holdings (including the crucial difference between unrepatriated earnings and cash); corporate inversions and the application of EU “state aid” rules; and implications for corporate tax reform.

  • Penn Wharton PPI Faculty Affiliate, Professor Joao F. Gomes

    Service Exports and the US Trade Deficit

    Professor Joao GomesMarch 24
    The United States is by far the world’s largest exporter of services and maintains an enormous trade surplus in services. Professor Gomes takes a closer look at the economics of boosting service exports as a means of rebalancing the US trade deficit and, in the process, shed new light on policy discussions regarding the future of America’s trade agreements.left|regulation|trade
    View summary » A trade deficit is defined by the amount by which a country’s imports exceeds the value of its exports. The US has consistently held a trade deficit since the 1970s; as of the end of 2016, the deficit had risen to $502 billion. This trade deficit has been a “political hot potato,” particularly with respect to China, on the assumption that a sustained deficit weakens the overall economy. But is that accurate?