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Managing Catastrophic Risk

Author

Listed:
  • Howard Kunreuther
  • Geoffrey Heal

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard Kunreuther & Geoffrey Heal, 2012. "Managing Catastrophic Risk," NBER Working Papers 18136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18136
    Note: EEE
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18136.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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;The Geneva Association, vol. 33(1), pages 153-176, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Howard Kunreuther & Erwann Michel-Kerjan, 2004. "Policy Watch: Challenges for Terrorism Risk Insurance in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 201-214, Fall.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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