Failing to learn from experience about catastrophes: The case of hurricane preparedness
This paper explores the question of whether there are inherent limits to our ability to learn from experience about the value of protection against low-probability, high-consequence, events. Findings are reported from two controlled experiments in which participants have a monetary incentive to learn from experience making investments to protect against hurricane risks. A central finding is that investments display a short-term forgetting effect consistent with the use of reinforcement learning rules, where a significant driver of investments in a given period is whether storm losses were incurred in the precious period. Given the relative rarity of such losses, this reinforcement process produces a mean investment level below that which would be optimal for most storm threats. Investments are also found to be insensitive to the censoring effect of protection itself, implying that the size of experienced losses—rather than losses that are avoided—is the primary driver of investment decisions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012
Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/economic+theory/journal/11166/PS2|
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.:
- Aric Shafran, 2011. "Self-protection against repeated low probability risks," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 263-285, June.
- 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.
- Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud, 1993.
"Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium,"
Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1019-1045, September.
- Ehud Kalai & Ehud Lehrer, 1990. "Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium," Discussion Papers 895, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Kalai, Ehud & Lehrer, Ehud, 1991. "Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium," Working Papers 91-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- E. Kalai & E. Lehrer, 2010. "Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 529, David K. Levine.
- Ehud Kalai & Ehud Lehrer, 1990. "Rational Learning Leads to Nash Equilibrium," Discussion Papers 925, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Kunreuther, Howard & Sanderson, Warren & Vetschera, Rudolf, 1985. "A behavioral model of the adoption of protective activities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-15, March.
- Browne, Mark J & Hoyt, Robert E, 2000. "The Demand for Flood Insurance: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 291-306, May.
- V. Smith & Jared Carbone & Jaren Pope & Daniel Hallstrom & Michael Darden, 2006. "Adjusting to natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 37-54, September.
- Raghubir, Priya & Menon, Geeta, 1998. " AIDS and Me, Never the Twain Shall Meet: The Effects of Information Accessibility on Judgments of Risk and Advertising Effectiveness," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 52-63, June.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1979. "Insurance and Individual Incentives in Adaptive Contexts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1195-1207, September.
- George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
- Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan, 2010. "Catastrophe Economics: The National Flood Insurance Program," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 165-186, Fall. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)