Howard C. Kunreuther is the James G. Dinan Professor; Professor of Decision Sciences and Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School, and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. He has a long-standing interest in ways that society can better manage low-probability, high-consequence events related to technological and natural hazards. Professor Kunreuther is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis, receiving the Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2001. He recently served on the National Academy of Science / National Research Council’s panel on Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters. He also served on the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) as part of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) and the report released by the New York City Mayor’s Office in June 2013. He is a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 5th Assessment Report, Working Group 3, Chapter 2, “Integrated Risk and Uncertainty Assessment of Climate Change Response Policies.” Dr. Kunreuther served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Insurance and Asset Management for 2011-2012, and in 2009-2010 was co-chair of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Leadership and Innovation for Reducing Risks from Natural Disasters. His recent books include At War with the Weather (with Erwann Michel-Kerjan) (MIT Press, 2009, paperback, 2011), winner of the Kulp-Wright Book Award from the American Risk and Insurance Association in 2011; Learning from Catastrophes: Strategies for Reaction and Response (with Michael Useem) (Financial Times Press, 2010); and Insurance and Behavioral Economics: Improving Decisions in the Most Misunderstood Industry” (with Mark Pauly and Stacey McMorrow) (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Bates College, A.B., Major: Economics, 1959; M.I.T., Ph.D. in Economics, 1965
James G. Dinan Professor, Professor of Operations and Information Management, Professor of Decision Sciences and Business Economics and Public Policy, Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
Operations and Information Management Department
In the News
Interview with World Risk and Insurance News addressing issues of public-private partnerships for catastrophe risk. 7 minute video with written transcript.
Howard Kunreuther, Mark V. Pauly (2017). Dynamic Insurance Decision-Making for Rare Events: The Role of Emotions, The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, 1-21.
John Dorman, Scott Edelman, Chris Jones, Howard Kunreuther, et al (2017). Structure Specific Flood Risk Based Insurance Proof of Concept and Preliminary Analysis, Working Paper.
W.J. Wouter Botzen, Howard Kunreuther, Erwann Michel-Kerjan (2017). Protecting Against Disaster Risks: Why Insurance and Prevention May Be Complements, Working Paper.
Carolyn Kousky, Howard Kunreuther (2017). Defining the Roles of the Public and Private Sector in Risk Communication, Risk Reduction, and Risk Transfer, Discussion Paper.
Benjamin Collier, Howard Kunreuther, Daniel Schwartz, Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan (2017). Risk Preferences in Small and Large Stakes: Evidence from Insurance Contract Decisions, Working Paper.
Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Paul A. Raschky, Howard Kunreuther (2015). Corporate Demand for Insurance: New Evidence from the U.S. Terrorism and Property Markets, Journal of Risk and Insurance, 82 (3).
Carolyn Kousky, Howard Kunreuther (2014). Addressing Affordability in the National Flood Insurance Program, Journal of Extreme Events, 1 (1), 1450.
Howard Kunreuther, E.U. Weber (2014). Aiding Decision Making to Reduce the Impacts of Climate Change, Journal of Consumer Policy.
Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Jeffrey Czajkowski, Howard Kunreuther (2014). Could Flood Insurance be Privatised in the United States? A Primer , The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance.
Howard Kunreuther, Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Mark Pauly (July-August 2013). “Making America More Resilient toward Natural Disasters: A Call for Action” in Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 15-23.
Howard Kunreuther, Mark V. Pauly, Stacey McMorrow (2013). Behavioral Economics and Insurance: Improving Decisions in the Most Misunderstood Industry, Cambridge University Press.
Geoffrey Heal, Howard Kunreuther (2012). Tipping Climate Negotiations, Climate Change and Common Sense: Essays in Honour of Tom Schelling, Oxford University Press.
Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Howard Kunreuther (2012 November 24) “Paying for Future Catastrophes” in The New York Times Sunday Review.
Howard Kunreuther, Haitao Yin (2012). Does Private Insurance Reduce Environmental Accidents?, Regulation. The Cato Review of Business and Government, 35 (2), 36 - 46.
Howard Kunreuther, Paul Kleindorfer (2012). Single-Year and Multi-Year Insurance Policies in a Competitive Market, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 45 (1), 45 - 78.
Howard Kunreuther, Erwann Michel-Kerjan (2012). Policy Tenure under the U.S. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Risk Analysis, 32 (4), 644 - 658.
Ellen Peters, Howard Kunreuther, Namika Sagara, Paul Slovic, Dan R. Schley (2012). Protective measures, personal experience, and the affective psychology of time, Risk Analysis, 32 (2).
Howard Kunreuther, Christian Schade (2011). Protecting Against Low Probability Disasters: The Role of Worry, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.
Mark V. Pauly, Kai Menzel, Howard Kunreuther, Richard A. Hirth (2011). Guaranteed Renewability Uniquely Prevents Adverse Selection in Individual Health Insurance, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 43(2), 127-139.
Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Howard Kunreuther (2011). Redesigning Flood Insurance, Science Magazine, 333 (6041), 408 - 409.
A.P. McGraw, Alexander Todorov, Howard Kunreuther (2011). A policy maker’s dilemma: Preventing terrorism or preventing blame, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 115, 25 - 34.
Haitao Yin, Howard Kunreuther, Matthew White (2011). Risk-Based Pricing and Risk-Reducing Effort: Does The Private Insurance Market Reduce Environmental Accidents?, Journal of Law & Economics, 54, (2), 325-363.
Laure Cabantous, Denis Hilton, Howard Kunreuther, Erwann Michel-Kerjan (2011). Is Imprecise Knowledge Better than Conflicting Expertise? Evidence from Insurers’ Decisions in the United States, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 42 (3), 211 - 232.
Professor Howard Kunreuther has received the 2015 Shin Research Excellence Award from the Geneva Association and the International Insurance Society (IIS) in recognition of his outstanding work on the role of public-private partnerships in mitigating and managing risks. The above video is a presentation by Professor Kunreuther on “Insuring Against Extreme Events: The Need for Public-Private Partnerships.”