IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Risk attitudes to low-probability climate change risks: WTP for flood insurance

  • Botzen, W.J.W.
  • van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.

Natural disasters may increase in frequency and severity in the future as a result of climate change, which is likely to have an impact on the demand for natural disaster insurance. Insights about individual risk beliefs and behavioural responses to changing risks are relevant for insurers, as it allows them, for example, to estimate the demand for new insurance products that cover weather-related damage. This study elicits individual risk beliefs and the demand for low-probability, high-impact flood insurance using the contingent valuation survey method among approximately 1000 homeowners in the Dutch river delta. This study is of practical relevance since currently flood insurance is not available in the Netherlands, while insurers have been considering to provide such insurance. Individuals generally do not behave in accordance with the expected utility model since a significant proportion of homeowners neglect the low-probability flood risk. The willingness-to-pay (WTP) of those individuals who demand flood insurance is on average considerably higher than the expected value of the flood risk they face. Moreover, the WTP for flood insurance is less than proportionally related to increased flood probabilities that were presented to respondents in the questionnaire. Individuals follow a process of Bayesian updating of flood probabilities, since perceptions of flood risk are an important determinant of the WTP, while objective risks derived from geographical characteristics influence the WTP to a lesser extent. Communication of baseline probabilities and changes in flood probabilities using risk ladders facilitate the comprehension of risk by respondents, and has a considerable effect on the level of the WTP and its sensitivity to probability changes. The results indicate that the current ex post public compensation scheme of flood damage lowers demand for private insurance.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268112000145
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 82 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 151-166

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:82:y:2012:i:1:p:151-166
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Howard Kunreuther & Mark Pauly, 2004. "Neglecting Disaster: Why Don't People Insure Against Large Losses?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 5-21, January.
  2. Kousky, Carolyn & Cooke, Roger, 2009. "Climate Change and Risk Management: Challenges for Insurance, Adaptation, and Loss Estimation," Discussion Papers dp-09-03-rev, Resources For the Future.
  3. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert G., 2009. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences," Research Memorandum 039, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  4. Sujitra Vassanadumrongdee & Shunji Matsuoka, 2005. "Risk Perceptions and Value of a Statistical Life for Air Pollution and Traffic Accidents: Evidence from Bangkok, Thailand," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 261-287, May.
  5. Viscusi, W Kip, 1985. "Are Individuals Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 381-85, May.
  6. Shilling, James D. & Sirmans, C. F. & Benjamin, John D., 1989. "Flood insurance, wealth redistribution, and urban property values," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 43-53, July.
  7. U Schmidt & H Zank, 2002. "Risk Aversion in Cumulative Prospect Theory," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0207, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  8. Wakker, P.P. & Thaler, R.H. & Tversky, A., 1997. "Probabilistic insurance," Discussion Paper 1997-35, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Erwann Michel-Kerjan & Carolyn Kousky, 2009. "Come Rain or Shine: Evidence on Flood Insurance Purchases in Florida," Working Papers hal-00372387, HAL.
  10. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  11. W. J. Wouter Botzen & Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, 2009. "Bounded Rationality, Climate Risks, and Insurance: Is There a Market for Natural Disasters?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(2), pages 265-278.
  12. W. Kip Viscusi & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2006. "National Survey Evidence on Disasters and Relief: Risk Beliefs, Self-Interest, and Compassion," NBER Working Papers 12582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  14. Arthur Charpentier, 2008. "Insurability of Climate Risks," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(1), pages 91-109, January.
  15. repec:hal:journl:hal-00457047 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Tversky, Amos & Wakker, Peter, 1995. "Risk Attitudes and Decision Weights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1255-80, November.
  17. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  18. Johnson, Eric J, et al, 1993. " Framing, Probability Distortions, and Insurance Decisions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 35-51, August.
  19. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, 06.
  20. Anna Alberini & Maureen Cropper & Alan Krupnick & Nathalie B. Simon, 2004. "Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: Does Latency Matter?," Working Papers 2004.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  21. Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Krupnick, Alan & Simon, N.B.Nathalie B., 2004. "Does the value of a statistical life vary with age and health status? Evidence from the US and Canada," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 769-792, July.
  22. McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D & Coursey, Don L, 1993. " Insurance for Low-Probability Hazards: A Bimodal Response to Unlikely Events," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 95-116, August.
  23. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  24. Han Bleichrodt & Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2009. "Additive Utility in Prospect Theory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(5), pages 863-873, May.
  25. Sonia Akter & Roy Brouwer & Saria Choudhury & Salina Aziz, 2009. "Is there a commercially viable market for crop insurance in rural Bangladesh?," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 215-229, March.
  26. Howard C. Kunreuther & Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan, 2009. "At War with the Weather: Managing Large-Scale Risks in a New Era of Catastrophes," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012820, June.
  27. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
  28. Craig R. Fox & Robert T. Clemen, 2005. "Subjective Probability Assessment in Decision Analysis: Partition Dependence and Bias Toward the Ignorance Prior," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(9), pages 1417-1432, September.
  29. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  30. Botzen, W.J.W. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. & van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., 2009. "Willingness of homeowners to mitigate climate risk through insurance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2265-2277, June.
  31. Soma Bhattacharya & Anna Alberini & Maureen Cropper, 2007. "The value of mortality risk reductions in Delhi, India," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 21-47, February.
  32. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  33. repec:reg:rpubli:435 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. Kousky, Carolyn & Kunreuther, Howard C., 2009. "Improving Flood Insurance and Flood Risk Management: Insights from St. Louis, Missouri," Discussion Papers dp-09-07, Resources For the Future.
  35. Bernard M.S. van Praag & P. Frijters & A. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2002. "The Anatomy of Subjective Well-being," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-022/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  36. Viscusi, W Kip, 1989. " Prospective Reference Theory: Toward an Explanation of the Paradoxes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 235-63, September.
  37. Ganderton, Philip T, et al, 2000. " Buying Insurance for Disaster-Type Risks: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 271-89, May.
  38. Peter P. Wakker & Daniëlle R. M. Timmermans & Irma Machielse, 2007. "The Effects of Statistical Information on Risk and Ambiguity Attitudes, and on Rational Insurance Decisions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(11), pages 1770-1784, November.
  39. Viscusi, W. Kip, 1985. "A Bayesian perspective on biases in risk perception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 59-62.
  40. Brouwer, Roy & Akter, Sonia & Brander, Luke & Haque, Enamul, 2009. "Economic valuation of flood risk exposure and reduction in a severely flood prone developing country," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(03), pages 397-417, June.
  41. Anna Alberini & Stefania Tonin & Margherita Turvani & Aline Chiabai, 2007. "Paying for permanence: Public preferences for contaminated site cleanup," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 155-178, April.
  42. Ryan D. Edwards, 2010. "Optimal portfolio choice when utility depends on health," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 6(2), pages 205-225.
  43. Wakker, Peter P & Thaler, Richard H & Tversky, Amos, 1997. "Probabilistic Insurance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 7-28, October.
  44. Corso, Phaedra S & Hammitt, James K & Graham, John D, 2001. " Valuing Mortality-Risk Reduction: Using Visual Aids to Improve the Validity of Contingent Valuation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 165-84, September.
  45. Robin L. Dillon & Catherine H. Tinsley, 2008. "How Near-Misses Influence Decision Making Under Risk: A Missed Opportunity for Learning," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(8), pages 1425-1440, August.
  46. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Han Bleichrodt & Corina Paraschiv, 2007. "Loss Aversion Under Prospect Theory: A Parameter-Free Measurement," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(10), pages 1659-1674, October.
  47. George Houtven & Melonie Sullivan & Chris Dockins, 2008. "Cancer premiums and latency effects: A risk tradeoff approach for valuing reductions in fatal cancer risks," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 179-199, April.
  48. Ruben Jongejan & Pauline Barrieu, 2008. "Insuring Large-Scale Floods in the Netherlands," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(2), pages 250-268, April.
  49. Trudy Ann Cameron, 2001. "Updating Subjective Risks in the Presence of Conflicting Information: An Application to Climate Change," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2003-8, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 14 Jul 2001.
  50. Karen Blumenschein & GlennC. Blomquist & Magnus Johannesson & Nancy Horn & Patricia Freeman, 2008. "Eliciting Willingness to Pay Without Bias: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 114-137, 01.
  51. David H. Krantz & Howard C. Kunreuther, 2007. "Goals and plans in decision making," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 2, pages 137-168, June.
  52. Han Bleichrodt & Alessandra Cillo & Enrico Diecidue, 2010. "A Quantitative Measurement of Regret Theory," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 161-175, January.
  53. Viscusi, W Kip & O'Connor, Charles J, 1984. "Adaptive Responses to Chemical Labeling: Are Workers Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 942-56, December.
  54. Hammitt, James K & Graham, John D, 1999. "Willingness to Pay for Health Protection: Inadequate Sensitivity to Probability?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 33-62, April.
  55. Adeline Delavande, 2005. "Measuring Revisions to Subjective Expectations," 2005 Meeting Papers 682, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  56. Kunreuther, Howard & Novemsky, Nathan & Kahneman, Daniel, 2001. " Making Low Probabilities Useful," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 103-20, September.
  57. Warren Kriesel & Craig Landry, 2004. "Participation in the National Flood Insurance Program: An Empirical Analysis for Coastal Properties," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 71(3), pages 405-420.
  58. Philip Ganderton & David Brookshire & Michael McKee & Steve Stewart & Hale Thurston, 2000. "Buying Insurance for Disaster-Type Risks: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 271-289, May.
  59. Danielle Timmermans & Irma Machielse & Peter Wakker, 2007. "The effects of statistical information on risk ambiguity attitudes, and on rational insurance decisions," Natural Field Experiments 00338, The Field Experiments Website.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:82:y:2012:i:1:p:151-166. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.