October 16, 2017.The Regulatory Review. “Building for Disaster.” Article highlights research on building codes by Jeffrey Czajkowski, Kevin Simmons and James Done.
October 10, 2017, The Wall Street Journal. Small Businesses Say Federal-Disaster Aid Needs Strengthening. Article cites research from the Wharton Risk Center: After superstorm Sandy hit the northeast in 2012, 8% of firms affected by the storm borrowed money from the agency’s disaster-lending program.
October 2017, Enterprise Risk magazine, Institute of Risk Management Preparing for extreme events. Op-ed by Howard Kunreuther: “A behavioural audit can nudge and encourage individuals to undertake preparedness measures for disasters before they occur.”
September 21, 2017, Penn Current. Why don’t we better prepare for disasters? Howard Kunreuther outlines some of biases that lead people to underinvest in protection against low-probability, high-consequence events. Article cites. “The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters,” by Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther.
September 21, 2017, PBS NewsHour. After Harvey and Irma, what’s the future of flood insurance? (Podcast and transcript) John Miller (Risk Center affiliate, Water Resources Engineer and Master of Environmental Studies Policy Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania) was interviewed on repetitive loss properties along the Passaic River by Paul Solman, Economics Reporter for the PBS NewsHour.
September 16, 2017, The Wall Street Journal. Homes Built to Stricter Standards Fared Better in Storm. Cites research involving the Wharton Risk Center that looked at insured-loss data in Florida from 2001 to 2010 and found that the Florida building code reduced windstorm losses by up to 72% and that there were $6 in losses saved for every $1 of additional construction costs.
September 15, 2017, The Hill. Look to Caribbean risk insurance model for US hurricane recovery.” Op-ed by Carolyn Kousky, Director for Policy Research and Engagement at the Wharton Risk Center: “The first few days after a disaster, such as we have recently experienced with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, are about emergency response: making sure people are safe, reuniting families, securing housing, filling necessities and restoring lifelines. But as days shift to weeks and then months and years, the slow process of rebuilding is undertaken. At every step of the way is the question of financing. Are there dollars available for what needs to be done? Who will pay for it? How will the costs be shared?” Read more
September 15, 2017, Brink News. “Legacy of Harvey and Irma Turns on FEMA’s Post-Disaster Response.” Op-ed by Brett Lingle, Senior Research Coordinator at the Wharton Risk Center: “FEMA spends more on hurricane recovery than on any other type of disaster. Data from OpenFEMA indicates that of the $81.1 billion (nominal dollars) of post-disaster aid the agency has distributed from 2005 to 2016, 70 percent was for hurricane response and recovery. Severe storms and floods accounted for another 25 percent, and all other disasters accounted for just 5 percent.”
September 14, 2017, The Daily Pennsylvanian. After Harvey and Irma, Penn professors explain how cities can better prepare for natural disasters.
September 12, 2017, Penn News. Penn Experts Offer Advice Following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma. Article quotes Howard Kunreuther: “If people hear that there’s a 1-in-100 chance of a flood, they say, ‘I’m not going to worry about it. I’m only going to be in the house for 25 years.’ But over the next 25 years, if you have a 1-in-100 chance of a flood every year, the likelihood of at least one happening to you is 1 in 5. It’s the same probability.”
September 8, 2017, Mother Jones. Here’s Why Florida Is so Much More Vulnerable to a Hurricane Like Irma Right Now. “People generally feel that disasters will not happen to them,” says Howard Kunreuther, the co-director of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center.
September 8, 2017, S&P Global. “Lower-income households hurt most by hurricane flooding.” Article quotes Jeffrey Czajkowski, managing director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center: “In previous disasters, Houston has had a lot of flood insurance claims that are outside the 100-year floodplain, and I think that will be the case here as well.”
September 6, 2017, Fortune. “How We Can Protect Irma and Harvey Victims From Getting Screwed.” Op-ed by Carolyn Kousky: “As Texas begins the long process of recovery from Hurricane Harvey, and Florida braces for a possible hit from Hurricane Irma, too few victims will have the financial support of insurance payouts.”
September 5, 2017, The New York Times. “Opinion – How Houston’s Growth Created the Perfect Flood Conditions” Article quotes Howard Kunreuther: “It gives people a feeling of complacency if they are not required to buy insurance.”
September 5, 2017, Knowledge@Wharton. “Lessons We Learn from Hurricane Harvey.” (podcast) Wharton’s Howard Kunreuther, Eric Orts and Robert Meyer discuss the fallout from Hurricane Harvey.
August 31, 2017, Brink News. “Flooding and the Economics of Risk Reduction.” Op-ed by Carolyn Kousky: “Moves by the current administration could greatly complicate the process of protecting communities against escalating future losses.”
August 29, 2017, The New York Times. “Homeowners (and Taxpayers) Face Billions in Losses From Harvey Flooding” Article quotes Carolyn Kousky.
August 29, 2017, Business Insider. “Harvey renews focus on revoked flood risk management standard.” Article quotes Carolyn Kousky.
August 29, 2017, Business Insider. “Struggling NFIP staggers under Harvey.” Article quotes Carolyn Kousky.
August 29, 2017, The Washington Post. “Federal flood insurance program in limbo on Capitol Hill as Harvey’s toll mounts.” Carolyn Kousky of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania says fundamental tensions between those who want to keep premiums artificially low and those who want a self-sustaining, actuarially sound program are just some of the obstacles to changing it.
August 29, 2017, The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/harveys-test-businesses-struggle-with-flawed-insurance-as-floods-multiply-1504022632 “Harvey’s Test: Businesses Struggle With Flawed Insurance as Floods Multiply.” Article quotes Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Ben Collier regarding Risk Center research.
August 28, 2017, Harvard Business Review “How the Insurance Industry Can Push Us to Prepare for Climate Change” In The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters , Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther point to several personal traits that expose us to greater risk from natural disasters.
August 25, 2017, Scientific American. “Trump Faces First Big Disaster Test: Hurricane Harvey could be particularly threatening.” Article quotes Robert Meyer: “If you’re just starting to think about it, you’re kind of too late.”
August 18, 2017, Financial Times. “Mental bias leaves us unprepared for disaster.” Review of The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters by Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther.
July 5, 2017, The Hill. How to reform flood insurance to keep more Americans afloat. Op-ed by Carolyn Kousky explores increased cost of compliance (ICC) of proposed NFIP reform bills.
June 27, 2017, Business Insurance. House NFIP reform legislation holds promise and pitfalls. Carolyn Kousky, director for policy research and engagement at the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, comments on proposed legislation that would eliminate the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ability to offer flood insurance coverage after Jan. 1, 2021, for new structures added in flood hazard zones. “The thought was if you have to pay for private market coverage, which in riskier areas is likely to be more than the NFIP, that you might think harder as a community, as a developer, as a buyer about where you’re locating. Whether that would actually happen, I’m not sure. There’s a lot of pressure in a lot of communities to continue to develop in risky areas.”
June 26, 2017, Journalist’s Resource. Building codes pay for themselves in disaster-prone regions. Article highlights research by Kevin Simmons, Jeffrey Czajkowski and James Done.
June 15, 2017, Knowledge@Wharton. “Why Fairness Matters in Reforming Flood and Health Insurance Programs.” By Howard Kunreuther and Mark Pauly. As Congress looks at restructuring two national insurance plans — the American Health Care Act of 2017, and the National Flood Insurance Program — legislators must address the issue of fairness.
June 13, 2017, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. Climate Change and the Future of Risk (podcast). Howard Kunreuther, Co-Director of the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, discusses the challenge of balancing support for communities at risk for natural disaster with the economic and political challenges to doing so. He also highlights how human psychology can make it hard for people to grasp the likelihood of future disasters, and the role this has played in pushing the national flood insurance program to the brink of insolvency.
May 25, 2017, WIRED. Trump’s Budget Forgets that Science is Insurance for America. Article quotes Robert Meyer.
February 10, 2017, VICE News. How Miami’s real estate market is benefitting from rising sea levels. Interview with Robert Meyer.
News articles and interviews related to the publication of the book, The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters by Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther:
June 7, 2016, Psychology Today. Why Disasters Repeat Themselves. Blog post by Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther.
May 23, 2017, Wharton Digital Press. Six Reasons We Underprepare for Disasters. By Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther.
May 23, 2017, KQED News. This Scientist’s Doomsday Earthquake Scenarios Will Terrify You, and That’s the Point. “The challenge really is we are myopic,” says Howard Kunreuther, author of “The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters.” “We focus on the short run and as a result don’t really think about any kind of long-term decisions[…]about how we prepare.”
Spring 2017, Wharton Magazine. Why You’re Not Prepared For Disasters (And What To Do About It) by Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther.
April 6, 2017, Psychology Today. Rising Seas: 4 steps we must take today. Blog post by Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther.
March 30, 2017, Risk and Insurance Network Exchange (RANE). An inconvenient contradiction: why we underprepare for disasters. (podcast)
February 20, 2017, WPR, Wisconsin Public Radio. Why We Underprepare for Disasters, and What We Can Do About It (podcast)
February 12, 2017, Salon.com. Why disasters repeat themselves: We ignore the lessons of the past at our own expense. Op-ed by Howard Kunreuther and Robert Meyer, includes excerpts from the book, The Ostrich Paradox.
February 10, 2017, WWNO, New Orleans Public Radio. “Why Aren’t Humans Better Prepared for Natural Disasters?” (radio interview)
February 10, 2017, New Consciousness Review. “Why We Underprepare for Disasters” (radio interview)
February 9, 2017, Psychology Today. “Why We are Underprepared for Disasters” Op-ed by Robert Meyer and Howard Kunreuther.
February 7, 2017, Knowledge@Wharton. “What Ostriches Can Teach Us about Risk” (video)
February 7, 2017, Think Radio Show (North Texas NPR), “Why We Underprepare for Disasters” (podcast)
February 2, 2017, NY Post. “You’re Wildly Unprepared for a Natural Disaster”
February 2, 2017, Marketplace. “What You’re Doing Wrong to Prepare for Natural Disasters”
January 19, 2017, Knowledge@Wharton. Podcast: The Biggest Risks Facing the World in 2017. Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan discuss the 2017 Global Risks Report.
January 18, 2017, Scientific American. The Future of Global Risk: A View From Davos. Op-ed by Erwann Michel-Kerjan. “While not a crystal ball, the report has yielded some startling results. Only when one monitors risks and maps interdependencies over time, across categories and geographies, can one see changes coming from afar and creatively plan for upcoming disruptions.”
January 18, 2017, This Morning (Seoul Korea). Podcast: 2017 Global Risks Report. Radio interview with Howard Kunreuther on environmental risks highlighted in the 2017 Global Risks Report.
January 13, 2017, Roundhouse Radio (Vancouver, Canada). Radio interview. Erwann Michel-Kerjan discusses the findings and challenges outlined in the 2017 Global Risks Report.
October 28, 2016, Knowledge@Wharton Radio Show, SiriusXM Channel 111, The Importance of Accurate Flood Maps. (podcast) Howard Kunreuther discusses his research on insurance for catastrophic risk in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Background reading for the interview is the Penn-Wharton Public Policy Initiative brief at https://publicpolicy.wharton.upenn.edu/issue-brief/v4n7.php.
August 5, 2016, Tampa Bay Times, Remember the flood insurance scare of 2013? It’s creeping back into Tampa Bay and Florida. Article cites research by the Wharton Risk Center showing that Florida has paid in four times more in premiums than it has gotten back in claims payouts from the National Flood Insurance Program.
July 9, 2016, Knowledge@Wharton, Why the Climate Change Debate Has Cooled Off (Podcast and transcript): Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan discuss the climate change debate in the presidential election season.
May 13, 2016, Kathmandu Post, Reconstructing Human Capital. Op-ed by Risk Center fellow Ajita Atreya: “It is apparent that people opted out of the building regulations and placed themselves in harm’s way.”
April 22, 2016, Marketwatch, To fight climate change, first find some optimism. Op-ed by Prof. Eric W. Orts: “Thinking about the terrible consequences of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other invisible vapors is like thinking about death. Most people prefer not to do it. One common reaction is therefore denial.”
March 25, 2016, The New York Times, Life Insurance Tries to Lighten Up. Howard Kunreuther notes that a barrier to selling any kind of insurance is that people think of it as an investment rather than a protective measure.
March 16, 2016, Independent Agent magazine, Why City Resilience Matters for Businesses Like Yours. At a conference hosted by the American Security Project in conjunction with Lloyd’s, Erwann Michel-Kerjan of the Wharton Risk Management Center noted that asset managers could invest in making cities more resilient.
February 19, 2016, The American Prospect magazine, That Sinking Feeling. Robert Meyer discusses why Miami is experiencing a real estate boom despite rising sea levels.
February 17, 2016, The DP, Lecture on Paris climate change agreement. The Wharton Risk Center and Penn Program on Regulation hosed a talk by Dale Jamieson (NYU) that focused on the practicalities of enforcing the historic but controversial international agreement worldwide.
February 5, 2016, Knowledge@Wharton, How Risk Management Can Adapt to an Era of ‘Truly Remarkable’ Change. The 10 costliest natural disasters in modern history have occurred since 1985, the year when the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center was launched by co-director Howard Kunreuther, a professor of operations, information and decisions. In late October, the 30th anniversary of the Center offered a timely opportunity to envision the future of risk management at an all-day conference at Wharton. “Thirty years is a long time in the history of any academic endeavor, but in this field the change has been truly remarkable,” noted University of Pennsylvania Provost Vincent Price, who opened the proceedings. “1985 was pre-Hurricane Andrew, pre-9/11 and pre-Fukushima, to name just a few of the more deadly and costly disasters,” Price said. “1985 was before the Internet and the cell phone — and before we understood the existential danger of climate change.”
January 14, 2016, Penn News, The World Economic Forum and Wharton Release the Global Risk Report 2016: A World at Risk. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2016, undertaken in conjunction with the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center of the University of Pennsylvania for the past 11 years, reports opinions of 750 experts who assessed 29 global risks for both impact and likelihood over a 10-year time horizon. The report is available at https://riskcenter.wharton.upenn.edu/publications/global-risks/
Winter 2016, Environment, Our Hazardous Environment: A Retrospective. Three leaders in the field of hazards management, Baruch Fischhoff, Paul Slovic, and Howard Kunreuther, provide new perspectives on the topic.
December 2015, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Dealing with Disasters. Article quotes Howard Kunreuther, Carolyn Kousky and other on why people are reluctant to take precautions to avert costs that may occur in the future.
December 17, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, What Have the Past 30 Years Taught Us About Managing Risk? (podcast) Howard Kunreuther and Robert Meyer, co-directors of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and executive director Erwann Michel-Kerjan discuss the Center’s research and how managing risk has changed over the past few decades.
December 3, 2015, BRINK, Short-Term Thinking Without Long-Term Focus Cold Hamper Climate Talks. Howard Kunreuther shares insights into the challenges of decision making to mitigate climate change.
December 1, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, Will the Outcome of the Paris Climate Summit Have Any Teeth? (podcast). Howard Kunreuther and Andrew Hoffman discuss the COP21 summit.
November 17, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, How Should Nations Respond to the ISIS Threat? Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Brendan O’Leary discuss the Paris attacks and strategies to counter ISIS.
September 10, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, Europe’s Migrant Crisis: Balancing the Risks with Long-term Gains. Bob Meyer, Risk Center co-director, discusses the challenges the migrant crisis poses for receiving countries and how they could address them.
August 27, 2015, Nature, We Must Build Resilience into Our Communities. Article by Erwann Michel-Kerjan: Our team at Wharton is piloting a global flood-resilience program in Mexico, Peru, Indonesia and Nepal supported by the insurer Zurich, working with the Red Cross, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the non-governmental organization Practical Action.
August 26, 2015, The New Republic, Is Your City Ready for the Next Katrina? Article quotes Howard Kunreuther on why people don’t prepare.
August 17, 2015, Government Executive, Six Lessons From Katrina. Donald F. Kettl, Howard Kunreuther, and Ronald J. Daniels, editors of On Risk and Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina, discuss six lessons from the book that loom even larger now 10 years after Katrina.
August 6, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, The Climate Change ‘Tipping Point’: How Should Businesses React? (video/podcast). Erwann Michel-Kerjan speaks about the potential risks of climate change.
July 20, 2015, The European Business Review, Leadership Dispatches: Business Lessons From A President Taking Charge. Michael Useem, Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan discuss the leadership of President Sebastián Piñera following the Chilean earthquake of 2010. Chile’s recovery from that disaster offers a tangible tutorial on the leadership actions required by those facing large-scale risks anywhere.
July 2, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, Will Rising Heat in the Climate Change Debate Propel Action? Wharton’s Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Eric Orts and Fr. James Martin discuss recent calls for action on climate change. (audio)
June 25, 2015, World Risk and Insurance News, How to finance and protect against extreme events. Video interview (7 min.) with Howard Kunreuther in connection with his award-winning research. Highlights include the need for public-private partnerships for financing extreme events, cyber risk and terrorism insurance, and multiyear insurance policies to stabilize insurance for extreme events.
June 16, 2015, Marketplace, Fixing the TSA will take time, expert says. Michael Useem explains that changing the culture of a large organization such as the TSA can take six months to a couple years.
June 16, 2015, Korea Times, Insurance society awards US scholars. Howard Kunreuther is the recipient of the Shin Research Excellence Award for his work on “Insuring against Extreme Events: The Need for Public-Private Partnerships.” The award is given by the International Insurance Society to commemorate Shin Yong-ho, founder of Kyobo Insurance of Korea.
June 9, 2015, Wall Street Journal, With CEOs, Two Heads Aren’t Better Than One. Professor Michael Useem comments on companies having co-chief executives.
June 1, 2015, Brink, Small Firms, Big Risk: The Challenge of Natural Disasters and What Can Be Done. Recommendations for small business owners on managing disaster risk. By Ben Collier, a research fellow at the Risk Center.
May 22, 2015, World Economic Forum, For which global risk is the Middle East least prepared? Erwann Michel-Kerjan looks at resilience initiatives that can be replicated across the MENA region.
May 20, 2015, The Washington Post, It’s bad business not to donate to Nepal. Op-ed by Luis Ballesteros and Michael Useem: The limited business assistance to Nepal reflects the limited company footprint there at the moment, but that absence will likely constitute a big strategic mistake for the future.
April 29, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, Lessons on Disaster Preparedness from the Nepal Earthquake (podcast interview with Howard Kunreuther). The recent 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal left a wide swath of devastation. As the Nepalese cope with the tragedy, there are lessons for the U.S. and other countries to learn when it comes to disaster preparedness.
April 27, 2015, Philadelphia Inquirer, From Nepal quake, lessons for the U.S. Op-ed by Michael Useem, Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan. Just a week before Nepal’s event, about 50 earthquake specialists had gathered in its capital city, Kathmandu, to recommend ways for the country to prepare for another “big one” like the 8.2 earthquake that had leveled the city in 1934.
April 27, 2015, Wharton Magazine, Learn Crisis Leadership from World’s Best. Michael Useem, Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan describe how Chile’s leaders made and executed their decisions to enable Chile’s extraordinary comeback from the earthquake of February 27, 2010.
April 26, 2015, Financial Times, Scientists begin to get ahead of the weather. Interview with Erwann Michel-Kerjan, executive director of the Risk Management Center.
April 21, 2015, Emol.Chile, Piñera recuerda desafío que implicó la reconstrucción e Insulza destaca “liderazgo” del ex Presidente; Expertos en liderazgo de la Universidad de Pennsylvania, EEUU: “Después del 27/F la recuperación de Chile fue extraordinaria y contiene muchas lecciones útiles”
April 15, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, How Smart Leadership Revived Chile after an Historic Disaster. In their new book, Leadership Dispatches: Chile’s Extraordinary Comeback from Disaster, Wharton professors Michael Useem and Howard Kunreuther and Erwann Michel-Kerjan, executive director of Wharton’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, examine how the South American nation’s leaders made that happen.
April 13, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, Curbing California’s Drought — One Five-Minute Shower at a Time. Howard Kunreuther spoke about the challenges California faces in winnings its war on drought on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111 (podcast).
March 5, 2015, USA Today, An earthquake of a snowstorm: Column
Op-ed by Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Howard Kunreuther and Michael Useem: What happened in Chile in 2010 could teach us a thing or two about coping with this winter.
March 3, 2015, Globe and Mail.com, How Chile bounced back from its big quake. Video interview with Michael Useem, co-author of Leadership Dispatches: Chile’s Extraordinary Comeback from Disaster, discusses leadership lessons gleaned from the study.
February 27, 2015, Harvard Business Review, Here’s Why People Trust Human Judgment Over Algorithms. Article cites research by Wharton Risk Center Ackoff Fellow Berkeley Dietvorst, and Wharton Professors Joseph Simmons, and Cade Massey
February 25, 2015, The Washington Post, Neuroscience is coming to the law. Can we keep politics out of it? Op-ed by Francis Shen and Dena Gromet: Our new research shows that Americans know very little about neurolaw, and that Republicans and independents may diverge from Democrats in their support for neuroscience based legal reforms.
February 12, 2015, The Washington Post, Want to get conservatives to save energy? Stop the environmentalist preaching. Article cites research by Wharton Risk Center Fellow, Dena Gromet and colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, regarding how liberals and conservatives felt about energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), and how that varied by whether they were marketed with “green” messaging.
February 3, 2015, Business Insurance Online, Insurance researchers honored for work on public-private partnerships. The Geneva Association and the International Insurance Society Inc. named Howard Kunreuther and Shawn Cole as the winners of their joint Shin Research Excellence Awards. Kunreuther, a professor of operations and information management, decision sciences and business economics, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, was selected for his research on insuring against extreme events with public-private partnerships.
January 20, 2015, Scientific American, Attempts to Predict Terrorist Attacks Hit Limits
Erwann Michel-Kerjan, executive director of the Wharton Risk Center: “You cannot reliably track terrorism risk without access to classified information. Charlie Hebdo could have happened anywhere, any time. We will all need to pay more attention to what is happening in the Middle East, connect the dots, and do the science.”
January 9, 2015, Knowledge@Wharton, What the Charlie Hebdo Attack Means for Risk Assessment. “If it is found that a larger group was at work in the Paris attacks, it is a game changer [for] insurers and governments,” said Robert Meyer, Wharton marketing professor and co-director of the school’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. (podcast)