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Insurance and Behavioral Economics: Improving Decision in a Misunderstood Industry, Mar. 15

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The Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business will present “Insurance and Behavior Economics: Improving Decisions in the Most Misunderstood Industry.”

The business, economics, and policy seminar will feature Howard Kunreuther, professor of decision sciences and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and William Topetta, senior adviser at Promontory Financial Group.

The event also is sponsored by the Georgetown McDonough Operations and Information Management area.

Friday, March 15, 2013
12-1:30 p.m.
Lunch will be served.

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
Rafik B. Hariri Building
Room 240
Washington, DC 20057

To RSVP, visit

Media who are interested in covering the event should contact Teresa Mannix, senior director of communications, at (202) 687-4080 or

The seminar explores the economics of decision-making in the insurance industry. Generally, key stakeholders often do not make informed decisions with respect to protection against extreme events. The concepts of System 1 and System 2 behavior that are the cornerstones of Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow, highlight how interested parties (consumers, insurers and regulators) exhibit systematic biases and utilize simplified heuristics in making insurance-related decisions. Kunreuther will discuss his research, which suggests ways to encourage protective behavior with respect to low-probability high-consequence events in advance of the next disaster, including guiding principles for insurance. He evaluates the 2012 Congressional Legislation that modified the National Flood Insurance Program in significant ways within the framework of the guiding principles for insurance. Toppeta will follow with a discussion of the critical issues and key questions raised by Kunreuther’s research.

About the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy is an academic, non-partisan research center whose mission is to engage scholars, business people and policymakers in relevant inquiries and dialogue to impact key business, economic and public policy issues confronting American and international businesses today. Housed at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, the Georgetown Center was created in 2002 to encourage thoughtful discussion and to document and disseminate knowledge on a range of issues in the public interest. Learn more at Follow on Twitter @GeorgetownCBPP.

About Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business provides a transformational education through classroom and experiential learning, preparing students to graduate as principled leaders in service to business and society. Through numerous centers, initiatives, and partnerships, Georgetown McDonough seeks to create a meaningful impact on business practice through both research and teaching. All academic programs provide a global perspective, woven through the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in a way that is unique to Washington, D.C. – the nexus of world business and policy – and to Georgetown University’s connections to global partner organizations and a world-wide alumni network. Founded in 1957, Georgetown McDonough is home to some 1,400 undergraduates, 1,000 MBA students, and 1,200 participants in executive degree and open enrollment programs. Learn more at Follow us on Twitter @msbgu.