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Market Failure in Information: The National Flood Insurance Program

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  • James Chivers
  • Nicholas E. Flores

Abstract

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established in 1968 and requires mandatory flood insurance for property owners who have federally backed mortgages. Krutilla (1966) noted that a compulsory national flood insurance program could greatly improve the economic efficiency of flood plain occupancy in the United States. However, in order to realize the efficiency gains suggested by Krutilla, property owners must have sufficient information about flood risk and insurance premiums to make well-informed home purchase decisions. Using survey data from Boulder, Colorado, we find significant evidence of market failure in information in the NFIP program. The majority of survey respondents, all of whom live in a special flood hazard area, report they did not fully understand the degree of flood risk or the cost of insuring against this risk when negotiating the purchase of their property.

Suggested Citation

  • James Chivers & Nicholas E. Flores, 2002. "Market Failure in Information: The National Flood Insurance Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(4), pages 515-521.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:78:y:2002:i:4:p:515-521
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Colin F. Camerer & Howard Kunreuther, 1989. "Decision processes for low probability events: Policy implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 565-592.
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    Cited by:

    1. de Koning, Koen & Filatova, Tatiana & Bin, Okmyung, 2017. "Bridging the Gap Between Revealed and Stated Preferences in Flood-prone Housing Markets," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 1-13.
    2. Atreya, Ajita & Ferreira, Susana & Michel-Kerjan, Erwann, 2015. "What drives households to buy flood insurance? New evidence from Georgia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 153-161.
    3. 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.
    4. Sarmiento, Camilo & Miller, Ted E., 2006. "Inequities in Flood Management Protection Outcomes," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21042, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Carolyn Kousky, 2010. "Learning from Extreme Events: Risk Perceptions after the Flood," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(3).
    6. Ellen Hanak & Georgina Moreno, 2012. "California coastal management with a changing climate," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 45-73, March.
    7. Silvano, Renato A.M. & Udvardy, Shana & Ceroni, Marta & Farley, Joshua, 2005. "An ecological integrity assessment of a Brazilian Atlantic Forest watershed based on surveys of stream health and local farmers' perceptions: implications for management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 369-385, May.
    8. Julie Mueller & John Loomis & Armando González-Cabán, 2009. "Do Repeated Wildfires Change Homebuyers’ Demand for Homes in High-Risk Areas? A Hedonic Analysis of the Short and Long-Term Effects of Repeated Wildfires on House Prices in Southern California," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 155-172, February.
    9. Katherine A. Kiel & Victor Matheson, 2015. "The Effect of Natural Disasters on Housing Prices: An Examination of the Fourmile Canyon Fire," Working Papers 1503, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    10. Bagstad, Kenneth J. & Stapleton, Kevin & D'Agostino, John R., 2007. "Taxes, subsidies, and insurance as drivers of United States coastal development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 285-298, August.
    11. James R. Meldrum, 2016. "Floodplain Price Impacts by Property Type in Boulder County, Colorado: Condominiums Versus Standalone Properties," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(4), pages 725-750, August.
    12. Tatiana Filatova & Anne van der Veen & Dawn C. Parker, 2009. "Land Market Interactions between Heterogeneous Agents in a Heterogeneous Landscape-Tracing the Macro-Scale Effects of Individual Trade-Offs between Environmental Amenities and Disamenities," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(4), pages 431-457, December.
    13. Bin, Okmyung & Landry, Craig E., 2013. "Changes in implicit flood risk premiums: Empirical evidence from the housing market," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 361-376.
    14. Carolyn A. Dehring, 2006. "Building Codes and Land Values in High Hazard Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(4), pages 513-528.
    15. Daniel R. Petrolia & Craig E. Landry & Keith H. Coble, 2013. "Risk Preferences, Risk Perceptions, and Flood Insurance," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(2), pages 227-245.
    16. Shaw, W. Douglass & Woodward, Richard T., 2008. "Why environmental and resource economists should care about non-expected utility models," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 66-89, January.
    17. Hallstrom, Daniel G. & Smith, V. Kerry, 2005. "Market responses to hurricanes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 541-561, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land

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