Flood Risk Perceptions

Accuracy, Determinants, and the Role of Probability Weighting

Dylan Turner and Craig E. Landry


This study analyzes survey data of US east coast homeowners to characterize accuracy and determinants of homeowner flood risk (mis)perceptions. Using an array of instruments, we assess subjective risk perceptions and compare them to objective risk estimates. Reduced-form regressions suggest flood experience, worry, and flood zone classification influence relative perceptions of risk. Common probability weighting functions do not fit the divergence in risk perceptions, suggesting that the source of the probability distortions is most likely due to misperceiving the true risk rather than a widespread behavioral heuristic.

Key WordsJEL Classification: