Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Economics

Committee Chair

Matthew Taylor

Commitee Members

Katrina Mullan, Alexander Metcalf


wildfire, risk, mitigation, WUI, Montana


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Behavioral Economics | Econometrics | Other Economics | Regional Economics


Fire prevention managers find that homeowners often do not perform mitigation actions that could reduce the damage and spread of wildfire. There is widespread belief among these fire professionals that one of the primary reasons that homeowners do not perform mitigation actions is that homeowners misperceive the risk that wildfire poses. Thus, a significant component of fire prevention programs’ focus on increasing homeowner awareness of the risk. However, it is possible that homeowners are aware of the fire risk but choose not to mitigate because of a variety of reasons, to include the costs of mitigation, limited monetary liability that they have after they insure the property, or doubts about the benefits of mitigation. I combine survey data obtained from Montana property owners with simulated fire probabilities for their parcels to test whether homeowners who report greater concern about the risk of fire conduct more mitigation activities. Using an instrumental variable approach, I find that increased homeowner concern about the risk of wildfire causes them to conduct significantly more mitigation activities.



© Copyright 2018 Madison G. Nagle