Carolyn Kousky

Director of Policy Research and Engagement
Wharton Risk Center

Contact information

Email: ckousky@wharton.upenn.edu
Phone: 215-573-0515
3819 Chestnut Street, Suite 130
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Dr. Carolyn Kousky is Director for Policy Research and Engagement at the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania.   Dr. Kousky’s research has examined multiple aspects of disaster insurance markets, the National Flood Insurance Program, federal disaster aid and response, and policy responses to potential changes in extreme events with climate change. She has published numerous articles, reports, and book chapters on the economics and policy of natural disasters and disaster insurance markets, and is routinely cited in media outlets including NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fortune, CBS News, and Business Insurance, among others. She is the recipient of the 2013 Tartufari International Prize from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Dr. Kousky was a member of the National Research Council Committee on Analysis of Costs and Benefits of Reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program and is a visiting Fellow at Resources for the Future.  She has a BS in Earth Systems from Stanford University and a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Kousky, C. (forthcoming). “Financing Flood Losses: A Discussion of the National Flood Insurance Program” Risk Management and Insurance Review.

Kousky, Carolyn (2017).  “Revised Risk Assessments and the Insurance Industry.” In: Policy Shock: Recalibrating Risk and Regulation after Oil Spills, Nuclear Accidents and Financial Crises.  Cambridge University Press: 55-81.

Kousky, C., P. Raschky, and E. Michel-Kerjan (2018). “Does Federal Disaster Assistance Crowd Out Flood Insurance?Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. 87: 150-164.

Kousky, C., and  Shabman, L. (2017).  “Federal Funding for Flood Risk Reduction in the US: Pre-or Post-Disaster?”  Water Economics and Policy3(01), 1771001.

Bin, O., Bishop, J. and C. Kousky (2017). “Does the National Flood Insurance Program have Redistributional Effects?” B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy. DOI: 10.1515/bejeap-2016-0321

Kousky, C., B. Lingle, and L. Shabman (2017). “The Pricing of Flood Insurance.” Journal of Extreme Events04, 1750001

Epanchin-Niell, R., C. Kousky, A. Thompson, and M. Walls (2016). “Threatened Protection: Sea Level Rise and Coastal Protected Lands of the Eastern United States.” Ocean and Coastal Management. 137(March 1):118-130.

Kousky, C. (2016).  “Disasters as Learning Experiences or Disasters as Policy Opportunities?  Examining Flood Insurance Purchases after Hurricanes.” Risk Analysis. DOI: 10.1111/risa.12646

Kousky, C. (2016). “Impacts of Natural Disasters on Children.” Future of Children. 26(1):73-92.

Kousky, C. and E. Michel-Kerjan (2015). “Examining Flood Insurance Claims in the United States.” Journal of Risk and Insurance.

Walls, M., C. Kousky, and Z. Chu (2015). “Is What You See What You Get? The Value of Natural Landscape Views.” Land Economics. 91(1): 1-19.

Kousky, C. (2015). A Historical Examination of the Corps of Engineers and Natural Valley Storage Protection: The Economics and Politics of “Green” Flood Control.  Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research. 7(1): 23-40.

Ranson, C. Kousky, M. Ruth, L. Jantarasami, A. Crimmins, and L. Tarquinio (2014). Tropical and Extratropical Cyclone Damages under Climate Change. Climatic Change. 127(2): 227-241.

Kousky, C. and M. Walls (2014). “Floodplain Conservation as a Flood Mitigation Strategy: Examining Costs and Benefits.” Ecological Economics. 104(August):119-128

Kousky, C. and H. Kunreuther (2014). “Addressing Affordability in the National Flood Insurance  Program.” Journal of Extreme Events. (1)1: Article ID 1450001.

Kousky, C. (2014). “Managing Shoreline Retreat: A US Perspective,” Climatic Change. 124(1): 9-20.

Kousky, C. (2014). “Informing Climate Adaptation: A Review of the Economic Costs of Natural Disasters.” Energy Economics.  46: 576-592.

Kousky, C. (2013). “Facts about FEMA Household Disaster Aid: Examining the 2008 Floods and Tornadoes in Missouri.” Weather, Climate, and Society, 5(4): 332-344.

Carolyn will oversee policy-related research and develop a new policy engagement strategy for the Center. A focus of her work will be launching the Resilience Lab: A Policy Incubator. The Lab will draw on lessons from business incubators to help move innovative and visionary ideas to implementable policy through rigorous analysis, stress-testing, and convening. The lab will be a thought leader, bringing together diverse partners and sectors to help improve resilience for households and communities against worsening extreme events.

The Hill. “Americans Need Better Disaster Relief and Insurance Programs.” Jan. 11, 2018

NPR, Marketplace. “How Hurricane Recovery Makes the Economy Seem Better.” Sept. 27, 2017

The Week. “America’s Flood Epidemic.” Sept. 23, 2017

NPR, All things Considered. “National Flood Insurance Program Will Pay Out Billions for a Few Properties.” Sept. 21, 2017

The Hill. “Look to Caribbean Risk Insurance Model for US Hurricane Recovery.” Sept. 15, 2017

Bloomberg. “Hurricanes Highlight Failure to Enforce Flood Insurance Rules.” Sept. 13, 2017

Fortune. “How We Can Protect Irma and Harvey Victims from Getting Screwed?” Sept. 6, 2017

LA Times.  “Harvey is one of the costliest disasters in U.S. history, and most of the victims have no flood insurance.” Sept. 1, 2017

Fatherly. “Hurricane Harvey Will Cause Long-Term Psychological Damage To Kids.”  Aug. 31, 2017.

CBS Evening News. “Majority of Harvey Flood Victims Don’t Have Flood Insurance, Expert Says.” Aug. 31 2017

Takeaway with WNYC Radio. “Why 80% of Hurricane Harvey Victims Don’t Have Flood Insurance.” Aug. 31, 2017.

NPR, All Things Considered. “In Storm-Tossed Houston Area, Most Homeowners Lack Flood Insurance.” Aug. 30, 2017

NPR, Marketplace. “Federal flood insurance program nears its limit in time and money.” Aug. 29, 2017

New York Times. “Homeowners (and Taxpayers) Face Billion in Losses from Havery Flooding” Aug. 29, 2017

Business Insurance. “Harvey Renews Focus on Revoked Flood Risk Management Standard.” Aug. 29, 2017

Washington Post. “Federal flood insurance program in limbo on Capitol Hill as Harvey’s toll mounts.” Aug. 29, 2017

Kousky, C. and B. Lingle (2017). The NFIP’s Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage. Wharton Risk Center Issue Brief.  Summer.

Kousky, C. (2017). A Discussion of the National Flood Insurance Program. Policy Brief 17-01.  Resources for the Future. Washington, DC, February.

Kousky, C. (2017). Examining Flood Map Changes in New Jersey.  Prepared for the New Jersey Realtors Governmental Research Foundation.  January.

Kousky, C., B. Lingle and L. Shabman (2017). Understanding the National Flood Insurance Program in New Jersey. Prepared for the New Jersey Realtors Governmental Research Foundation.  January.

Kousky, C., B. Lingle and L. Shabman (2016). NFIP Premiums for Single-Family Residential Properties: Today and Tomorrow. Policy Brief 16-10. Resources for the Future. Washington, DC, September.

Kousky, C., B. Lingle, and L. Shabman (2016). FEMA Public Assistance Grants: Implications of a Disaster Deductible.  Policy Brief 16-04. Resources for the Future. Washington, DC, April.

Kousky, C. and L. Shabman (2015). A Proposed Design for Community Flood Insurance. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future, December.

Kousky, C. and L. Shabman (2013). A New Era of Disaster Aid? Reflections on the Sandy Supplemental. RFF Issue Brief 13-05. Resources for the Future. Washington, DC, December.

Kousky, C. and H. Kunreuther (2013). Addressing Affordability in the National Flood Insurance Program. RFF Issue Brief 13-02. Resources for the Future.  Washington, DC, August.

Kousky, C. and E. Michel-Kerjan (2012). Hurricane Sandy, Storm Surge, and the National Flood Insurance Program: A Primer on New York and New Jersey. RFF Issue Brief 12-08.

Kousky, C. and L. Shabman (2012). The Realities of Federal Disaster Aid: The Case of Floods. RFF Issue Brief 12-02.