Chapter | The Irrational Economist: Making Decisions in a Dangerous World | 2010

Lessons from Catastrophe Reinsurance

by Kenneth A. Froot

Abstract

Of the 20 most costly catastrophes since 1970, more than half have occurred since 2001. Is this an omen of what the 21st century will be? How might we behave in this new, uncertain, and more dangerous environment? Will our actions be rational or irrational? A select group of scholars, innovators, and Nobel Laureates was asked to address challenges to rational decision making both in our day-to-day life and in the face of catastrophic threats such as climate changes, natural disasters, technological hazards, and human malevolence. At the crossroads of decision sciences, behavioral and neuro-economics, psychology, management, insurance, and finance, their contributions aim to introduce readers to the latest thinking and discoveries. The Irrational Economist challenges the conventional wisdom about how to make the right decisions in the new era we have entered. It reveals a profound revolution in thinking as understood by some of the greatest minds in our day and underscores the growing role and impact of economists and other social scientists as they guide our most important personal and societal decisions.

Keywords: Decision Making; Insurance; Risk and Uncertainty; Natural Disasters; Behavior;

Citation:

Froot, Kenneth A. "Lessons from Catastrophe Reinsurance." Chap. 20 in The Irrational Economist: Making Decisions in a Dangerous World, edited by Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Paul Slovic, 171–182. New York: PublicAffairs Books, 2010.