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.
Learn more about our five Research Labs by visiting their pages here.

The Cost of Wildfires

With projections for another intense wildfire season following a very dry winter, wildfires have already been raging across the West Coast. Risk Center researchers have compiled an overview of direct and indirect costs of wildfires.

Explore the Storyboard.

Scaling up Coastal Ecosystem Protection

In our fifth Digital Dialogue, fourteen experts weigh in on what financial measures and policies are most successful for scaling coastal ecosystem protection.

Check out the dialogue!

Making a Case for Climate Change Adaptation

The long history of climate risk research that the Risk Center has done is highlighted in the Spring/Summer 2020 Issue of the Wharton Magazine.

Read More

Covid-19 Response (1)

The world continues to struggle with the spread of the novel coronavirus and the impacts are rippling through the global economy. Sound risk management is more important than ever. At the Wharton Risk Center, we engage with our partners to meaningfully support management of evolving threats, such as this one.

Risk Center resources and contributions from our scholars will be added to the site as made available. See the resources here.

Featured Publications

In the News

Why Biden should launch an Ecosystem Restoration Corps in 2021

The Hill

Natural areas provide critical ecosystem services, yet they are being degraded by pollution, stressed by climate change, ravaged by invasive species, and fragmented to the point of collapse. Carolyn Kousky proposes an Ecosystem Restoration Corps as a first step to improving the health of our ecosystems, while also providing meaningful employment during the Covid-19 downturn.

Read the full op-ed.

A Climate Resilience Roadmap for the Next Administration


“Public policy plays a critical role in either attenuating or magnifying the economic costs of climate change. It is time to put the United States on a path toward climate resilience.” Executive Director, Carolyn Kousky, offers an 8-part federal policy agenda for the new Biden Harris administration to consider.

See full article here.

Low-Income Households Should Be Prioritized After Disaster Strikes

The Hill 

Low-income households should be prioritized after disaster strikes

Op-Ed by Carolyn Kousky and Urban Institute’s Carlos Martin: “Low-income households too often slip through the cracks of relief and recovery assistance. In many cases, this is by design. Our disaster policies do not provide equitable help, leaving those most in need with insufficient resources to respond and rebuild.”

See full article here.

Mortgage Lenders Face Increasing Risks From Sea-Level Rise

Yale Climate Connections

Foreclosure sign

“If you put more of the cost of risk on the individual landowner, which would help them make better decisions and presumably discourage development in the riskiest areas and encourage safer development,” Kousky says, “you’re also contributing to a big inequality problem at the coast.” Carolyn Kousky and Ben Keys comment on risk-based pricing and financial decisions.

Read the full article.

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Wharton Risk Management
and Decision Processes Center

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