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Managing Catastrophic Risk

  • Howard Kunreuther
  • Geoffrey Heal

A principal reason that losses from catastrophic risks have been increasing over time is that more individuals and firms are locating in harm's way while not taking appropriate protective measures. Several behavioural biases lead decision-makers not to invest in adaptation measures until after it is too late. In an interdependent world with no intervention by the public sector, it may be economically rational for those at risk not to invest in protective measures. Risk management strategies that involve private-public partnerships that address these issues may help in reducing future catastrophic losses. These may include multi-year insurance contracts, well-enforced regulations, third-party inspections, and alternative risk transfer instruments such as catastrophe bonds.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18136.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18136.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Publication status: published as "Managing Catastrophic Risk" (with Geoffrey Heal). Encyclopedia of Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Economics (ed.) J. Shogren, Elsevier, Vol. 3, pp 52-59 2013.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18136
Note: EEE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Erwann Michel-Kerjan & Frederic Morlaye, 2008. "Extreme Events, Global Warming, and Insurance-Linked Securities: How to Trigger the “Tipping Point”," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 33(1), pages 153-176, January.
  2. Howard Kunreuther & Erwann Michel-Kerjan, 2004. "Policy Watch: Challenges for Terrorism Risk Insurance in the United States," NBER Working Papers 10870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Erwann Michel-Kerjan & Ivan Zelenko & Victor Cardenas & Daniel Turgel, 2011. "Catastrophe Financing for Governments: Learning from the 2009-2012 MultiCat Program in Mexico," OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions 9, OECD Publishing.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
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