Much of consumer research has focused on frequently purchased packaged goods, and so it might be understandable that the concept of risk has lingered in the shadows. Although risk is involved in the purchase of packaged goods, it is minor compared with that in the domains of much greater economic consequence: For most consumers in developed countries, decisions about where to live and how to invest for retirement are the two largest economic decisions they will make. The decision to buy a new personal video recorder may depend on the future financial health of the company that provides the service. The insurance industry is all about risk management, with consumers making decisions about mitigating the risk associated with owning cars and houses and maintaining their health. Yet for the most part, risk is simply another predictor variable that is focused mostly on medical and health applications.
THis special issue will not remdy this neglect, but I want to introduce some of the relevant literature in the hopes that some people will be inspired by the fine set of articles contained in this issue and that a few guideposts will be helpful starting points. I provide a brief sketch focusing on pointers to more complete introductions, and draw illustrations from the domain of insurance decisions.
Johnson, Eric. "Rediscovering Risk." Journal of Public Policy and Marketing 23, no. 1 (2004): 2-6.
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