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Abstract

Agricultural economists have for many decades concerned ourselves with gaining an understanding of individual behavior when confronted with risk, and developing tools to address decision-making under risk. This area of research has recently gained renewed attention for a variety of reasons. This paper attempts to provide a review of the current status of risk related research, to assess areas where we have made significant progress, and also areas where expected benefits of future work are greatest. Theoretical advancements have contributed to our understanding of portfolio trade-offs, optimal input and output decisions, and the use of instruments such as futures and insurance. Advances in the ability to quantify risk with more robust methodologies also contribute to the information available for producers. Research has also contributed to the development of new instruments and provided evaluation of alternatives which confront producers. There are, however, areas in need of further research. We identify five general areas which we believe merit further attention. Progress in these areas should contribute significantly to our understanding of risk management and the information that agricultural economics may provide to producers.

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