Photo of Neil A Doherty

Neil A Doherty

Fredrick H. Ecker Professor Emeritus of Insurance and Risk Management

Professor Emeritus of Business Economics and Public Policy

Research Interests: asset/liability management for insurers, financial intermediaries, insurance economics, insurance pricing, optimal insurance, risk management

Links: CV


Fellowship of Chartered Insurance Institute, 1965

B.A. (Economics), University of York, 1968

B. Phil. (Economics), University of York, 1969

Ph.D., Cranfield Institute of Technology, 1979

Dr. Neil Doherty is the Frederick Ecker Professor Emeritus of Insurance and Risk Management at the Wharton School. He is associated with several of Wharton’s research centers, including the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center and the Financial Institutions Center. A member of the Wharton faculty since 1986, Neil has also consulted with organizations such as Amerco, Dow Chemical, Sears Roebuck, British Petroleum, Merck, GTE, CIGNA, Ace, Aon, Chubb and UPS.

Neil’s principal area of interest is in corporate risk management – focusing on the financial strategies for managing risks that traditionally have been insurable. Such strategies include the use of existing derivatives, the design of new financial products, and the use of capital structure. Neil has written several books in this area including, Corporate Risk Management: A Financial Exposition (1985) and The Financial Theory of Insurance Pricing (1987, with S. D'Arcy) and Integrated Risk Management (2000). A more recent book “The Known, the Unknown and the Unknowable” (2010), (edited jointly with Richard Herring and Frank Diebold) explores the issue in managing the vague and often un-measurable risks such as those that have recently plagued the global economy. He also has written several papers. Many of the ideas developed in his books (e.g., composites of insurance and debt financing and the use of option models in insurance and reinsurance) are now emerging in the marketplace. Neil is also the co-author of the economic textbook, Managerial Economics, 2005.

Two additional areas of focus include:

* the economics of risk and information – he has written several papers on the adverse selection, the value of information, and the design of insurance contracts with imperfect information.

* the failure of insurance markets and how they might be redesigned – in this area, he has written on cyclicality of markets, market crises, and the effect of catastrophes.

Neil coauthored several recent reports dealing with topical insurance issues. One of these The Economics of Insurance Intermediaries (2005) examined the underlying economics of insurance brokers in order to understand the issues raised by Elliot Spitzer’s investigations into this industry. Another TRIA and Beyond, (2005) looked at the market for terrorism insurance and examined the case for Federal Terrorism reinsurance. And a third “At War with the Weather: Managing Large Scale Risks in a New Era of Catastrophes” (with H. Kunreuther and others; 2009, MIT Press) - looks critically at the market for catastrophic risk. Neil is a graduate of the University of York and Cranfield Institute of Technology, where he received his doctorate in Economics.