Risk Communication and Decision-Making Lab

To better understand and improve individual and collective decision-making in the presence of uncertainty, the Risk Communication and Decision-Making Lab investigates different approaches for framing and providing information to households, businesses, and public sector decision-makers to ensure that they are aware of the risks they face and able to improve their preparedness and response to future adverse events.

Risk Communication for Disaster Preparedness

Ongoing projects at the Risk Center study how disaster risk communications can address potential biases and help people navigate consequential risk management decisions.

Choice Architecture and Insurance

Learn how choice architecture can be applied to the context of insurance as well as how Risk Center researchers are investigating underlying decision processes.

Understanding and Managing 21st Century Risks

Research on how individuals perceive risk and make decisions with respect to risk preparedness.

Increasing Mitigation Through Persuasive Messaging

With support from the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research (ACIIR) at the University of Alabama, the Wharton Risk Center is developing audiovisual messages that aim to increase mitigation activities (e.g., installing a high wind resistant roof) among homeowners in hurricane-prone regions of the U.S.

Kunreuther, H. and M.V. Pauly (2020). Do People Have a Bias for Low-Deductible Insurance? NBER working paper.

Wilson, M. T. and C. Kousky (2019). The Long Road to Adoption: How Long Does it Take to Adopt Updated County-Level Flood Insurance Rate Maps? Risk, Hazards, & Crisis in Public Policy, 10(4): 403-421

Haer, T., W.J.W. Botzen, and J.C. Aerts (2019). Advancing disaster policies by integrating dynamic adaptive behaviour in risk assessments using an agent-based modelling approach.  Environmental Research Letters, 14(4), 044022.

Botzen, W. J,W., H. Kunreuther, J. Czajkowski, and H. de Moel (2019). Adoption of Individual Flood Damage Mitigation Measures in New York City: An Extension of Protection Motivation Theory.  Risk Analysis.

Kousky, C. (2018). How America Fails at Communicating Flood Risks. City Lab. October 11.

Robinson, P. J., and W.J.W. Botzen (2018). The impact of regret and worry on the threshold level of concern for flood insurance demand: Evidence from Dutch homeowners.  Judgment and Decision Making, 13(3), 237-245.

Meyer, R. and H. Kunreuther (2017) The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters. Philadelphia, PA: Wharton Digital Press.

For a full list of publications, see our main publications page: https://riskcenter.wharton.upenn.edu/publications/

Flood Resilience Research – Collaboration with Zurich Insurance

The Risk Center joined with Zurich and partners to develop key initiatives focused on broadening the scope of flood resilience research, in order to advance global understanding of flood impact, risk reduction, financial protection, and community resilience.

Risk communication and management is more important than ever. At the Wharton Risk Center, we engage with our partners to meaningfully support management of evolving threats and disasters, such as this one.

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

Contributing Scholars:

Howard Kunreuther

Howard Kunreuther

Co-Director, Wharton Risk Management Center

Research Areas: Climate Adaptation; Disaster Insurance; Communication of Climate Risks; Climate Change Policy

Robert Meyer Final

Robert Meyer

Faculty Co-Director, Wharton Risk Management Center

Research Areas: Decision Making Under Risk & Uncertainty; Choice Modeling; Natural Language Processing

Carolyn Kousky

Carolyn Kousky

Executive Director, Wharton Risk Management Center

Research Areas: Disaster Insurance; Natural Disaster Policy; Climate Adaptation

Tom Baker

Tom Baker

William Maul Measey Professor of Law

Research Areas: Insurance; Liability; Financial Services Regulation

Alex Braun

Alexander Braun

Vice Director, Institute of Insurance Economics (University of St. Gallen)

Research Areas: Catastrophe Risk, Insurance-Linked Securities, Digital Insurance, Sustainable Insurance

Wouter Botzen

Wouter Botzen

Professor of Economics of Climate Change and Natural Disasters, VU University Amsterdam

Research Areas: Climate Change Economics; Natural Disaster Risk Management; Catastrophe Insurance, Individual Decision Making

Shereen Chaudry

Shereen Chaudhry

Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Research Areas: Judgment and Decision Making; Social Communication; Impression Management and Person Perception


Benjamin Collier

Assistant Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, Fox School of Business at Temple University

Research areas: Insurance Economics; Household Finance; Small Business Economics

Lynn Conell-Price

Lynn Conell-Price

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Wharton Risk Management Center

Research Areas: Behavioral and Experimental Economics; Household Financial Decision Making; Disaster Risk Perception and Decision Making


Steven Kimbrough

Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions

Research Areas: Risk & Uncertainty; Deep Decarbonation Pathways; Market Design

Cait Lamberton

Cait Lamberton

Duran President’s Distinguished Professor of Marketing

Research areas: Consumer Psychology; Financial Decision Making; Risk Management

Katherine Milkman

Katherine L. Milkman

Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions

Research Areas: Judgment and Decision Making;  Behavioral Economics; Health; Household Finance; Diversity and Inclusion

Alice Moon1

Alice Moon

Assistant Professor of Operations, Information, & Decisions

Research Areas: Judgment and Decision Making; Preference Elicitation; Consumer Psychology

Mark Pauly

Mark V. Pauly

Bendheim Professor of Health Care Management, Business Economics and Public Policy

Research Areas: Health Insurance; Health Policy, Medical Economics; Public Finance/Public Choice

Harvey Rubin

Harvey Rubin

Professor of Medicine and Computer and Information Science.

Rebecca Schaumberg

Rebecca Schaumberg

Assistant Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions

Research Areas: Social Psychology; Organizational Behavior Theory


Maurice Schweitzer

Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions and Management

Research Areas: Behavioral Decision Research; Deception and Trust; Emotions; Negotiations

Paul Slovic2

Paul Slovic

President, Decision Research; Prof. of Psychology, University of Oregon

Research Areas: Psychology of Risk and Decision Making

Mike Useem

Michael Useem

Professor of Management and Faculty Director of the Wharton Leadership Center and McNulty Leadership Program.

Research areas:  Governance; Management; Leadership


For more information on the Risk Communication and Decision Making Lab, contact Zoë Linder-Baptie, Resilience Projects Manager, at zoelb@wharton.upenn.edu.