Philip Mulder

Philip Mulder
  • 2021-2022 Job Market Candidate

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3733 Spruce Street, 400 Vance Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302

Research Interests: Real Estate and Household Finance, Environmental Economics, Applied Microeconomics, Urban Economics, Public Economics

Links: CV, Personal Website

Overview

I am on the 2021-2022 job market 

Here is my Job Market Paper, “Mismeasuring Risk: The Welfare Effects of Flood Risk Information”

I am an applied microeconomist with research interests in real estate and household finance, environmental economics, urban economics, and public economics.  My research agenda focuses on understanding how households, insurers, lenders, and governments adapt to dynamic climate risk.

My job market paper studies how flood insurance pricing informs coastal homeowners about their risk and affects investment in risk-reducing adaptation.

Thesis Committee and References

Continue Reading

Research

  • Mismeasuring Risk: The Welfare Effects of Flood Risk Information (JOB MARKET PAPER)
    • Draft
    • Abstract: Rapidly improving data and models are giving homeowners more information about their disaster risk while also increasing insurance premiums for the highest risk homes. In this paper, I study the economic consequences of using better flood risk models to more accurately identify and price flood insurance for high-risk homes. I estimate my results with administrative flood insurance policy data and a novel survey measuring flood insurance demand, risk perceptions, and objective risk. To identify the effects of risk information, I use variation created by outdated elevation data and risk models that caused high-risk homes to be misclassified as low-risk. My findings show that flood risk classification provides valuable information not only for insurers, but also for homeowners. Misclassifying high-risk homes as low-risk causes owners to underestimate their current and future flood risk, invest less in risk-reducing adaptation, and buy less flood insurance despite substantially lower premiums. Embedding these estimates in a sufficient statistics model with dynamic risk and endogenous risk beliefs and adaptation, I find that identifying and pricing the estimated six million high-risk homes outside the floodplain would increase social welfare by $138 billion.
  • Neglected No More: Housing Markets, Mortgage Lending, and Sea Level Rise (with Ben Keys)
    • Draft
    • Abstract: In this paper, we explore dynamic changes in the capitalization of sea level rise (SLR) risk in housing and mortgage markets. Our results suggest a disconnect in coastal Florida real estate: From 2013-2018, home sales volumes in the most-SLR-exposed communities declined 16-20% relative to less-SLR-exposed areas, even as their sale prices grew in lockstep. Between 2018-2020, however, relative prices in these at-risk markets finally declined by roughly 5% from their peak. Lender behavior cannot reconcile these patterns, as we show that both all-cash and mortgage-financed purchases have similarly contracted, with little evidence of increases in loan denial or securitization. We propose a demand-side explanation for our findings where prospective buyers have become more pessimistic about climate change risk than prospective sellers. The lead-lag relationship between transaction volumes and prices in SLR-exposed markets is consistent with dynamics at the peak of prior real estate bubbles.
  • What’s at Stake? Understanding the Role of Home Equity in Flood Insurance Demand (with Yanjun Liao)
    • Draft
    • Abstract: Millions of homeowners are exposed to increasing financial risk from natural disasters. Yet, many households are uninsured against the costliest disaster: flooding. We show that low home equity is an important driver of low flood insurance take-up. To isolate the causal effect of home equity on flood insurance demand, we exploit price changes over the housing boom and bust. Insurance take-up follows house price dynamics closely, with a home price elasticity around 0.3. Multiple mechanism tests suggest that mortgage default acts as implicit disaster insurance. As a result, households do not fully internalize their disaster risk.

Teaching

  • Fall 2021 – Evaluating Evidence, Guest Lecturer for Professor Iwan Barankay 
  • Spring 2020 – Environmental and Energy Economics and Policy, Teaching Assistant for Professor Arthur van Benthem 
  • Fall 2019 – Honors Intermediate Microeconomics, Teaching Assistant for Professor Gilles Duranton 
  • 2014 – 2015 (Kalamazoo College) – Probability, Calculus, and Real Analysis, Teaching Assistant for Professor John Fink

Awards and Honors

  • 2020, 2021 Russel Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship
  • 2019, 2020, 2021 Bradley Graduate Fellowship
  • 2018 Amy Morse Award (Awarded to top first year student in Wharton Applied Economics)

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