NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Reflections on U.S. Disaster Insurance Policy for the 21st Century

Howard Kunreuther

NBER Working Paper No. 12449
Issued in August 2006

---- Acknowledgements -----

This paper is a revised version of one presented at the Berkeley Symposium on Real Estate, Catastrophic Risk, and Public Policy on March 23, 2006. I appreciate comments by Dwight Jaffee, the discussant of the paper, as well as Rob Lieberthal, Erwann Michel Kerjan, Larry Rosenthal and Thomas Russell on an earlier draft. The paper also reflects a continuing dialog over the past six months with members of the Wharton Risk Center/Insurance Information Institute/University of Georgia team studying alternative disaster insurance and mitigation programs: Neil Doherty, Martin Grace, Scott Harrington, Robert Hartwig, Robert Klein, Paul Kleindorfer, Rob Lieberthal, Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Mark Pauly, Irv Rosenthal, Benjamin Shiller, Gordon Stewart, James Valverde and Haitao Yin. Interactions with Robert Litan were also very helpful in my rethinking issues associated with disaster insurance. Support from NSF Grant # CMS-0527598 and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center are gratefully acknowledged.

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