Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center

The Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, established in 1985, is a research center affiliated with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Engaging students and faculty throughout the University in collaborations, research projects, and other partnerships, the Center is recognized worldwide as a leader in risk-related research and policy analysis. The Risk Center also serves as a bridge between scholars at Penn and organizations and decision-makers in the public and private sectors.

Philadelphia’s Flood Risk

Flooding is the number one natural hazard in Pennsylvania. On February 10th and 11th, 2022, The Wharton Risk Center, with support from The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, hosted a two-part workshop on flood risk in the Philadelphia region. Panelists discussed what ways Philadelphia is already vulnerable to flooding, how climate change is exacerbating those vulnerabilities, and what tools, like hazard mitigation planning and insurance, are important for preparing and recovering from flood events.

Watch the workshop recordings here.

NSF Civic Innovations Award

We are thrilled to announce that the Policy Incubator has received a Stage 2 Civic Innovations grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Learn more about the launch of this joint inclusive insurance project with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency (MOCR) and the Center for New York City Neighborhoods (CNYCN) on our project page here.

Risk Center Annual Conference

Organized by the Business, Climate, and Environment Lab, the Risk Center hosted a virtual conference on December 3rd, 2021. The day featured panels on the intersection of climate change and the financial system, insurance markets, and housing markets, as well as a discussion of emerging markets for renewable energy finance and carbon credits. Marisa Drew, Chief Sustainability Officer & Global Head Sustainability Strategy, Advisory and Finance at Credit Suisse gave the Keynote Address.

Read more about the panelists and watch recordings on the conference page here.

In the News

Insurance and aid aren’t covering the cost of disasters in America

USA Today

When disaster strikes, there are typically four ways a home or business owner can recover: insurance, government relief, personal savings, or a personal loan. “Lower income people struggle with all four of those sources. So they are the ones that are consistently, disproportionately harmed by disaster events.” Read more from Carolyn Kousky and other experts on disaster recovery.

(Read for free on Yahoo!News).

Preparing, and paying for, climate change-induced disasters

Penn Today

In the wake of a series of unusual and devastating December tornadoes, Carolyn Kousky tells Penn Today about strategies for resilience and recovery. “The costs and the impact of recovery are often much broader than people anticipate before going through it,” Kousky says. “And recovery takes much longer than people assume it will.”

Read the full article.

Beyond Business: Tackling the Climate Crisis. Can Business Lead the Way?


On October 20th, Professor Benjamin Keys, and Professor Sarah E. Light, joined Erika James, Dean of the Wharton School for a virtual panel discussion. They spoke about how climate change is reshaping the mortgage and housing industries as well as an action plan for businesses to follow. This event was part of the Wharton School’s Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series, Beyond Business, which streamed on Wharton’s LinkedIn page.

Read the article here. Watch the recording here.

The changing climate is driving up home insurance claims, and rates


The more severe storms, fires and floods are, the more people are going to be dealing with damaged roofs and basements. “And that means that consumers need the protection of insurance more than ever,” said Carolyn Kousky at the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. But the problem is “those same trends are making it more difficult for insurers to offer coverage, or offer it at a price point that people can afford,” she said.

See full article here.



Wharton Risk Management
and Decision Processes Center

St. Leonard’s Court | Suite 217
3819 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104

P: 215-898-5688
F: 215-573-2130