W. Kip Viscusi

Document Type


Publication Title

American Law and Economics Review

Publication Date


Page Number



risk perception, risk assessment, jurors, insurance law


Consumer Protection Law | Insurance Law | Law


People seriously misjudge accident risks because they routinely neglect relevant information about exposure. Such risk judgments affect both personal and public policy decisions, e.g., choice of a transport mode, but also play a vital role in legal determinations, such as assessments of recklessness. Experimental evidence for a sample of 422 jury-eligible adults indicates that people incorporate information on the number of accidents, which is the numerator of the risk frequency calculation. However, they appear blind to information on exposure, such as the scale of a firm's operations, which is the risk frequency denominator. Hence, the actual observed accident frequency of accidents/exposure is not influential.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.