The 21 full-time members of our faculty are nationally and internationally known experts in the areas of risk management, health care, employee benefits, property liability insurance, and actuarial science. Research plays a crucial role in advancing the frontiers of knowledge and practice in our discipline. A recent ranking by the Journal of Risk and Insurance indicated that our faculty are ranked second in the country for research productivity in the field of risk management and insurance.

The Department houses the Advanta Center for Research in Financial Institutions, the Center for Healthcare Research and Management, and five leading academic journals in the field. Dr. J. David Cummins is co-editor of the Journal of Banking and Finance. Dr. Mike Powers serves as editor of Journal of Risk Finance and as editor of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance. Dr. Mary Weiss serves as editor of Risk Management and Insurance Review; she is also the immediate past President of the American Risk and Insurance Association.


The Department’s research in macro-level market concerns focuses on overall market concerns within the insurance and healthcare industry, including items such as organizational structure, efficiency, productivity, and innovation. Research in decision theory and behavioral consumer theory involves research on the consumer side of the insurance and healthcare industry, including work on demand and decision-processes.  Risk management research focuses on internal management choices that affect firm performance, as well as firms’ decisions on pricing and resource allocation, which involve interactions with other firms in the industry. Finally, the Department’s research focuses on public policy and regulation, namely analyzing the impact of public policy and regulation on insurance and/or healthcare markets.

Themes – The Global Impact of Fox School Research

Research is a top priority at the Fox School. Faculty and students across departments regularly make unique contributions that impact the academic world and the global business community, as well as society as a whole. Learn more about the important work done at Fox by exploring the following research themes.​​

  • Financing of catastrophic risk
  • Corporate governance in the insurance industry
  • Systemic risk in insurance & banking industries
  • Insurance efficiency & productivity
  • Insurance distribution channels
  • Market structure
  • Industrial organization
  • Insurance demutualization
  • Reserve management
  • Ethical concerns within insurance & financial markets
  • Impact of litigation risk on insurance
  • Pension and longevity risk market
  • Innovation in insurance and healthcare
  • Changes in insurance reimbursement and long-term care markets
  • Financing of health systems
  • Mergers and pricing in the hospital industry
  • Physician innovation and new technology adoption in medical devices and surgery
  • Contributions of quantity and quality of marketing expenditures to pharmaceutical firm performance

Insurance Demand

  • Evaluation and estimation of the elasticity of demand for insurance
  • Impact of behavioral biases on insurance demand (heuristics, reference dependent preferences, overconfidence)
  • Optimal insurance contract design and its impact on insurance demand

Healthcare Demand

  • Individual decisions on health risk factors and personal health stock
  • Effects of physical activity on costs and utilization
  • Factors affecting individuals’ hospital choices

Behavioral Decision Theory

  • Ambiguity aversion
  • Dependent preferences (prospect theory, envy, regret)
  • Impact on portfolio allocation (general finance or within retirement plans)
  • Impact on insurance demand
  • Overconfidence
  • Time-inconsistent preferences
  • Insurance and financial product design and pricing
  • Insurance financing decisions (IPOs, SEOs)
  • Management decisions which impact efficiency and productivity
  • Insurance reserve management
  • Enterprise risk management
  • Reinsurance counterparty relationships & firm performance
  • Crisis risk management and public reaction to crises
  • Financing of catastrophic risk
  • Corporate governance in the insurance industry
  • Impact of CEO overconfidence on managerial decision-making

This theme addresses the impact of technology on marketing management in a digitally enabled marketplace. Specific topics include pricing management, product and innovation management, segmentation, integrated marketing communications and value delivery networks. Faculty also studies multi-media integration, database applications for segmentation, assessment, and digital strategy applications and analytics.

  • Impact of public policies on insurance demand and insurance markets (auto, liability, etc.)
  • Optimal public policy (for example, flood insurance)
  • Impact of insurance regulations and financial regulations on insurance demand and insurance markets
  • Impact of regulatory changes in employee and healthcare benefits
  • Optimal plan design for insurance and healthcare benefits (including individual behavioral concerns and how that influences choice architecture for plans)
  • Determinants of pharmaceutical sales representative access restrictions to physicians
  • Impact of pharmaceutical sales representative access restrictions to physicians on health outcomes (cases involving diabetes and major cancer diseases)
  • Effect of state pharmacy drug product selections laws on statin patient generic to branded drug switch-back patterns
  • Effect of brand to generic drug substitution on Parkinson’s Disease patient outcomes
  • Role of antitrust enforcement in hospital mergers

Research in this theme focuses on insurance and healthcare issues in international markets. Many of the topics discussed in the other themes are explored under this theme, but here they are considered in a global context. Given the current research of faculty in the department, specific topics for this theme include the following:

  • Enterprise risk management in China
  • Enterprise risk management and economies of scope in the German insurance industry
  • Industrial organization of the Chinese insurance industry
  • Systemic risk in insurance and banking industries (globally)
  • Efficiency and productivity in insurance (Europe and Asia, especially China)
  • Integration and efficiency in European life insurance markets
  • Pricing of pharmaceuticals in high versus low and medium income economies

Sample Publications

Chen, H., MacMinn, R. D., & Sun, T. (2017). Mortality Dependence and Longevity Bond Pricing: A Dynamic Factor Copula Mortality Model with the GAS Structure. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 84(S1), 393-415.

Lin, Y., Shi, T. & Arik, A. (2016). Pricing Buy-Ins and Buy-Outs. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 84(S1) 367-392.

Cummins, J David and Rubio-Misas, María and Vencappa, Dev V., (2016) Competition, Efficiency, and Soundness in European Life Insurance Markets. Journal of Financial Stability, 28(1).

Cummins, J David and Phillips, Richard D. and Smith, Stephen D. (2015) Derivatives and Corporate Risk Management: Participation and Volume Decisions in the Insurance Industry. FRB Atlanta Working Paper, 97(12).

Alai, H., Chen, H., Cho, D., Hanewald, K., and Sherris, M. (2014) Developing Equity Release Markets: Risk Analysis for Reverse Mortgage and Home Reversion. North American Actuarial Journal, 18(1), 217-241.

Chen, H., Cummins, J.D., Viswanathan, K., and Weiss, M. (2014) Systemic Risk and the Interconnectedness Between Banks and Insurers: An Econometric Analysis. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 81, 623-652.

Cummins, J.D., and Dionne, G. (2014) Introduction: Symposium on Convergence, Interconnectedness, and Crises: Insurance and Banking. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 81, 473-476.

Cummins, J.D.,and Weiss, M. (2014) Systemic Risk and the US Insurance Sector. Journal of Risk and Insurance.

Chen, H., Sherris, M., Sun, T., and Zhu, W. (2013) Living with Ambiguity: Pricing Mortality-linked Securities with Smooth Ambiguity Preferences. Journal of Risk and Insurance , 80(3), 705-732.

Keuffel, E., Jaskiewicz, W., Paphassarang, C., and Tulenko, K. (2013) Net Costs of Health Worker Rural Incentive Packages—An Example from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Medical Care, 51(11), 985-991.

Volkman Wise, J. (2013) Pension Portfolio Choice and Peer Envy. Journal of Risk and Insurance,  8(2), 461-489.

Cheng, J., and Weiss, M. (2012) The Role of RBC, Hurricane Exposure, Bond Portfolio Duration, and Macroeconomic and Industry-wide Factors in Property-Liability Insolvency Prediction. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 79(3), 723-750.

Getzen, T., and Chapman, Z. (2012) Hazardous Immorality:  Strategic Externalization of Risk and Credit Pricing. Journal of Risk and Insurance,  13(4), 381-391.

Chen, H., Cox, S., and Wang, S. (2010) Is the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage in the United States Sustainable? Evidence from Pricing Mortgage Insurance Premiums and Non-Recourse Provision Using the Conditional Esscher Transform. Insurance, Mathematics and Economics, 46(2), 371-384.

Chen, H., and Cummins, J.D. (2010) Longevity Bond Premiums: The Extreme Value Approach and Risk Cubic Pricing. Insurance, Mathematics and Economics, 46(1), 150-161.

Regan, L., Weiss, M., and Tennyson, S. (2010) The Effects of Regulated Premium Subsidies on Insurance Costs: An Empirical Analysis of Automobile Insurance. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 77(3), 597-624.

Zinn, J. (2010) Changes in Clinical and Hotel Expenditures Following Publication of the Nursing Home Compare Report Card. Medical Care, 48(10), 869-874.

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