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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): G. Busby; G. S. Amacher; R. G. Haight
Publication Date: August 2013

In this article, we consider wildfire risk management decisions using a dynamic stochastic model of homeowner interaction in a setting where spatial externalities arise. Our central objective is to apply observations from the social science literature about homeowner preferences to this economic externality problem and determine how assumptions about insurance, information and starting fuel loads affect outcomes and the effectiveness of policy. Three new features of our approach are, first, to assess fuel treatment behavior under potential misinformation scenarios, second, to allow for heterogeneous starting fuel loads across ownerships, and, finally, to evaluate the effectiveness of insurance and direct regulation at improving outcomes. Among other results, we find that risk-adjusted insurance may not create incentives for fuel treatment when government suppression exists, and in games with heterogeneous starting fuel loads, the social costs from misinformation can persist over a greater range of fire probability and damage function parameter values. These results suggest that, even as information about wildfire improves, the social costs inherent in private decisions will be more persistent than previously thought on landscapes where fuel stock differs across ownerships. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Citation: Busby, G., G. S. Amacher, and R. G. Haight. 2013. The social costs of homeowner decisions in fire-prone communities: information, insurance, and amenities. Ecological Economics, v. 92, p. 104-113. 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.02.019.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    National
  • fire damage (property)
  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • forest management
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • imperfect information
  • natural hazards
  • public information
  • risk management
  • spatial externalities
  • spatial games
  • statistical analysis
  • wildfire
  • wildfires
Tall Timbers Record Number: 28387Location Status: Not in fileCall Number: AvailableAbstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 51502

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of Tall Timbers.