Ajita Atreya

Research Fellow, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center

Contact Information

Email: atreya@wharton.upenn.edu

3730 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

Dr. Ajita Atreya is a postdoctoral research Fellow at the Wharton Risk Center. At the Risk Center, Dr. Atreya is involved in an innovative multi-year program launched by Zurich Foundation to help communities proactively build their own resilience to future floods.  Her specific focus is geared towards better understanding the demand for flood risk protection by individuals and also understanding flood insurance systems around the world. Dr. Atreya is also interested in learning about the operation of the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) Community Rating System (CRS) and currently involved in analyzing the CRS program. She is also working on other independent research which includes work aiming to disentangle the countervailing impacts of flood risk and coastal amenities as reflected in the property prices and determining development alternatives for coastal communities to prepare for future disasters. She has served as a consultant for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in their “Resilient America” project aiming at developing a standard approach to measure resilience. Her research interests include the areas of environmental and natural resource economics, economics of natural disaster, and risk and insurance. Her Ph.D. dissertation examined the spatial and temporal variation in flood risk perception as reflected in property prices and response to flood risk in the form of the purchase of flood insurance. Papers from her dissertation work have been published in Land Economics and Risk Analysis.

Before joining the Risk Center, Dr. Atreya was a research intern at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC. She earned her Doctorate in Applied Economics from the University of Georgia in 2013. She holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor’s degree from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has received several awards including a USGS/Georgia Water Institute research grant and a national award from the Ministry of Education, Nepal.

Published and Forthcoming

Atreya, A., Kriesel, W. and Mullen, J.D., 2016. Valuing Open Space In A Marshland Environment: Development Alternatives For Coastal Georgia. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 48(4), pp.383-402.

Atreya, A., J. Czajkowski. 2016. “Housing Price Response to interaction of Positive Coastal Amenities and Negative Flood Risks”. Real Estate Economics, available online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1540-6229.12163/abstract

Atreya, A., S. Ferreira, and E. Michel-Kerjan. 2015. “What Drives Households to Buy Flood Insurance? Evidence from Georgia”. Ecological Economics, 117: 153-161

Atreya, A., S. Ferreira. 2014. “Seeing is believing? Evidence from Property Prices in Inundated Areas.” Risk Analysis, available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/risa.12307/

Atreya, A., S. Ferreira, and W. Kriesel. 2013. “Forgetting the Flood? An Analysis of the Flood Risk Discount over Time.”  Land Economics, 89(4), 577-596.

Under Review

Atreya, A., H. Kunreuther.  “Measuring Community Resilience: The Role of the Community Rating System (CRS).”

Working Papers

“Measuring Community Resilience: The Role of Community Rating System (CRS).” Available at SSRN http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2788230

“Flood Insurance Arrangements: A Comparison of 25 Countries”

“Risk Perception and Earthquake Preparedness: A Study of Household Behavior in Nepal”

“Flood Hazard Adjustment Adoption: A study of Communities in Tabasco, Mexico”

“Learning from FEMA’s Community Rating System and Its link to Community Capitals”


What Motivates Households in Vulnerable Communities to Take Flood Preparedness Actions? Findings form Applied Research in Tabasco, Mexico – Wharton Issue Brief, 2016

Why many individuals still lack flood protection? New findings.   Zurich-Wharton Issue Brief, 2015

Enhancing community flood resilience: a way forward.  Zurich-Wharton-IAASA Flood Resilience Alliance, 2014

Operationalizing Resilience Against Natural Disaster Risk: Opportunities, Barriers and A Way Forward (with Adriana Keating, Karen Campbell, Reinhard Mechler, Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Junko Mochizuki, Howard Kunreuther, JoAnne Bayer, Susanne Hanger, Ian McCallum, Linda See Keith Williges, Ajita Atreya, Wouter Botzen, Ben Collier, Stefan Hochrainer, Callahan Egan). Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center Report & Issue Brief, Winter 2014


Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (AERE) 2015 Conference, San Diego, California

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) 2015 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California

National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Resiliency Workshop, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) 2015 Fall Research Conference Miami, Florida

National Association of Counties (NACo) 2015 Annual Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado


Southern Economic Association 2014 Annual Meeting, AERE Session, Atlanta, Georgia

National Academy of Sciences Workshop-Measures of Community Resilience: From Lessons Learned to Lessons Applied, Washington, DCAgricultural and Applied Economics Association 2014 Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Georgia Water Resources Conference 2013, Athens, Georgia

Southern Agricultural Economics Association 2013 Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida


Doctoral Student Workshop on Technology Entrepreneurship, Los Angeles, California

Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Conference, Seattle, Washington

Initiative on Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences (ICARUS), Columbia University, New York

The E. Broadus Browne Awards for Outstanding Graduate Research, Athens, Georgia

Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Birmingham, Alabama


UNICT- EAERE- FEEM Belpasso International Summer School Belpasso, Sicily, Italy

Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Climate Information for Managing Risks, an International Symposium, Orlando, Florida


Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia


Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida