Abstract for: A Behavioral Model of Hurricane Risk and Coastal Adaptation

Studies of households have shown a poor perception of natural disaster risks and potential disaster severity, typically overreacting to a disaster event but underpreparing and underinsuring after periods of quiet. Many estimates of disaster response and their economic impacts haven't taken these sub- optimal household perceptions into consideration. Here I build a model of a coastal community to understand how household perceptions are important to modeling a particular natural disaster, hurricanes. ``Population Overcrowding'' and ``Household Motivation for Insurance'' are shown to be important feedbacks to the model, necessary to understanding the data. Overcrowding of a community because of limited housing discourages population and inhibits economic growth. A household's desire to insure against a disaster drives insurance coverage, though their desire wanes after several years. While the behavioral decision-making literature and other studies support the relationships between model variables, the model process identified important gaps in the data, suggesting directions for future empirical work.