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Howard Kunreuther

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).

Education

Bates College, A.B., Major: Economics, 1959; M.I.T., Ph.D. in Economics, 1965

Title(s)

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

Center(s)

Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center

School(s)

Wharton

Department(s)

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. 

Publications

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.

Featured Content

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.” 

PENN WHARTON PPI
RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT:

  • <h3>Congressional Budget Office</h3><p><img width="180" height="180" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/180/380_cbo-logo.rev.1406822035.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image380 lw_align_right" data-max-w="180" data-max-h="180"/>Since its founding in 1974, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.</p><p> The agency is strictly nonpartisan and conducts objective, impartial analysis, which is evident in each of the dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates that its economists and policy analysts produce each year. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate discloses the agency’s assumptions and methodologies. <strong>CBO provides budgetary and economic information in a variety of ways and at various points in the legislative process.</strong> Products include baseline budget projections and economic forecasts, analysis of the President’s budget, cost estimates, analysis of federal mandates, working papers, and more.</p><p> Quick link to Products page: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products</a></p><p> Quick link to Topics: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/topics" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/topics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The World Bank Data (U.S.)</h3><p><img width="130" height="118" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image484 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1406" data-max-h="1275"/>The <strong>World Bank</strong> provides World Development Indicators, Surveys, and data on Finances and Climate Change.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states" target="_blank">http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The Penn World Table</h3><p> The Penn World Table provides purchasing power parity and national income accounts converted to international prices for 189 countries/territories for some or all of the years 1950-2010.</p><p><a href="https://pwt.sas.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt71/pwt71_form.php" target="_blank">Quick link.</a> </p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>HUD State of the Cities Data Systems</h3><p><strong><img width="200" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image482 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 3x" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="613"/>The SOCDS provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs.</strong> It is a portal for non-national data made available through a number of outside institutions (e.g. Census, BLS, FBI and others).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html" target="_blank">http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Center for Education Statistics</h3><p><strong><img width="400" height="80" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/400/height/80/479_nces.rev.1407787656.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image479 lw_align_right" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="80"/>The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.</strong> NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES has an extensive Statistical Standards Program that consults and advises on methodological and statistical aspects involved in the design, collection, and analysis of data collections in the Center. To learn more about the NCES, <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/about/" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p><p> Quick link to NCES Data Tools: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4</a></p><p> Quick link to Quick Tables and Figures: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCES Fast Facts (Note: The primary purpose of the Fast Facts website is to provide users with concise information on a range of educational issues, from early childhood to adult learning.): <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/#</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>USDA Nutrition Assistance Data</h3><p><img width="180" height="124" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image485 lw_align_right" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1233" data-max-h="850"/>Data and research regarding the following <strong>USDA Nutrition Assistance</strong> programs are available through this site:</p><ul><li>Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) </li><li>Food Distribution Programs </li><li>School Meals </li><li>Women, Infants and Children </li></ul><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics" target="_blank">http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Bureau of Economic Research (Public Use Data Archive)</h3><p><img width="180" height="43" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/43/478_nber.rev.1407530465.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image478 lw_align_right" data-max-w="329" data-max-h="79"/>Founded in 1920, the <strong>National Bureau of Economic Research</strong> is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.</p><p> Quick Link to <strong>Public Use Data Archive</strong>: <a href="http://www.nber.org/data/" target="_blank">http://www.nber.org/data/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Internal Revenue Service: Tax Statistics</h3><p><img width="155" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image486 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg 2x" data-max-w="463" data-max-h="596"/>Find statistics on business tax, individual tax, charitable and exempt organizations, IRS operations and budget, and income (SOI), as well as statistics by form, products, publications, papers, and other IRS data.</p><p> Quick link to <strong>Tax Statistics, where you will find a wide range of tables, articles, and data</strong> that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>NOAA National Climatic Data Center</h3><p><img width="200" height="198" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image483 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 3x" data-max-w="954" data-max-h="945"/>NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation’s treasure of <strong>climate and historical weather data and information</strong>.</p><p> Quick link to home page: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCDC’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various web pages and resources: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links</a></p><p> Quick link to Text & Map Search: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>MapStats</h3><p> A feature of FedStats, MapStats allows users to search for <strong>state, county, city, congressional district, or Federal judicial district data</strong> (demographic, economic, and geographic).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/" target="_blank">http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED®)</h3><p><strong><img width="180" height="79" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/79/481_fred-logo.rev.1407788243.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image481 lw_align_right" data-max-w="222" data-max-h="97"/>An online database consisting of more than 72,000 economic data time series from 54 national, international, public, and private sources.</strong> FRED®, created and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, goes far beyond simply providing data: It combines data with a powerful mix of tools that help the user understand, interact with, display, and disseminate the data.</p><p> Quick link to data page: <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series" target="_blank">http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Aviation Administration: Accident & Incident Data</h3><p><img width="100" height="100" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image80 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 3x" data-max-w="550" data-max-h="550"/>The NTSB issues an accident report following each investigation. These reports are available online for reports issued since 1996, with older reports coming online soon. The reports listing is sortable by the event date, report date, city, and state.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/" target="_blank">http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>