Uh, words... (Michael D Beckwith)

Scholarship Philosophy

My dissertation research focused on the policy, economic, and social effects of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs. The NFIP is a $1 trillion Federal insurance program that provides flood insurance in the United States, where private flood insurance is rarely available. The NFIP itself is subject to risk from extreme weather and global climate change. Because the NFIP is a government program, it is ripe for policy, economic, and social welfare analysis.

My dissertation applied benefit-cost analysis to the NFIP and FMA programs as implemented from 1996 to 2010. I initially developed a sufficient statistic for the total welfare change due to the NFIP and incorporates different datasets to calculate the net social benefit. In addition, I estimated the consumer benefit from the NFIP using censored regression analysis. The analysis also included distributional analyses to find the redistributive effects of the NFIP and the effect of the program on government revenues. The analysis provided a baseline for analyzing the NFIP and the model framework can adapt to analyze other publicly managed risk insurance programs.

The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’s backyard.

John W. Tukey

I am fortunate to play in everyone else’s backyard. Today, my research is largely driven by the needs of those around me. I apply statistical methods in areas as diverse as public health, global security, and space science. My most recent published scholarship has modeled the population of Earth-orbiting satellites, analyzed the risks of flood insurance, predicted disruptive events, and sought to understand small business cybersecurity. I have written two books on my work and am currently co-editing two more.

Image by Michael D Beckwith / Flickr.