Sharon Tennyson


Sharon Tennyson

Professor, Director of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs
292 Caldwell Hall
Phone: 607-255-2619 Fax: 607-255-4071
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

Sharon Tennyson is a Professor at Cornell University in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, and Director of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA).  Her primary research focus is the impact of laws and government regulations on the wellbeing of consumers in markets. Recognizing that government actions may alter firms' operations and/or consumers' decisions in markets, her work explores the effects of regulations on these behaviors and the changes in market outcomes that result.  Much of her work studies the regulation of insurance markets, but she has also written on regulation of credit cards, prescription drugs and airlines. Other research examines consumers' financial knowledge and decisions, advice provision in financial markets, and consumer fraud behavior in insurance.

Dr. Tennyson is the current Editor of the Journal of Consumer Affairs, and a former President of the Risk Theory Society. She was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Insurance and Risk Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University.

Current Research Activities:

Advice provision in insurance markets; consumers’ insurance decisions; insurance bad faith liability; automobile insurance systems; consumers' use of information in insurance, credit and prescription drug markets.


Ph.D., Economics, Northwestern University
B.A., Economics, UCLA

Courses Taught:

PAM 3400/5400 - Economics of Consumer Policy 
PAM 3410 - Economics of Consumer Law and Protection
PAM 3440/5440 - Regulating Financial Institutions
PAM 3240 - Risk Management and Policy 
PAM 6350 - Consumers, Information and Regulatory Policy

Related Websites:

Cornell Institute for Public Affairs
Journal of Consumer Affairs

Administrative Responsibilities:

 Dr. Tennyson is Director of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), which offers a 2-year Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. 

Selected Publications:

Effects of Informational Nudges on Consumer Debt Repayment Behaviors,” with Lauren Jones and Caezilia Loibl, Journal of Economic Psychology 51 December 2015: 16-33. 

“Product Ratings as a Market Reaction to Deregulation: Evidence from the German Insurance Market”, with Stephanie Meyr, Risk Management and Insurance Review 18(1) Spring 2015: 77-100.

“The Role of Life Experience in Long Term Care Insurance Decisions,” with Hae Kyung Yang, Journal of Economic Psychology 42 June 2014: 175-188. [paper]

“Does the Threat of Insurer Liability for “Bad Faith” Affect Insurance Settlements?” with Danial P. Asmat, Journal of Risk and Insurance 81(1) March 2014: 1-23. [paper]

“The Influence of FDA Advisory Information and Black Box Warnings on Individual Use of Prescription Antidepressants,” with Kristy Parkinson, Joseph Price and Kosali Simon, Review of Economics of the Household 12(4) December 2014: 771-790. [paper]
“The Effect of Prescription Drug Withdrawals on the Use of Competitor Drugs: The Case of Vioxx,” with J. Michael Collins and Kosali Simon,  Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 86(1) February 2013: 148-168.
“Insurance Distribution,” with James I. Hilliard and Laureen Regan, chapter 23 in Handbook of Insurance 2nd edition, Georges Dionne, editor. Springer 2013.

“The Effects of Expanding Property Rights on Women’s Economic Activity,” with R. Richard Geddes and Dean Lueck,  Journal of Law and Economics 55(4) November 2012: 839-867.

“Challenges and Approaches to Consumer Protection in the Insurance Industry,” in The Fundamentals of Future Insurance Regulation and Supervision: A Global Perspective, Patrick M. Liedtke and Jan Monkiewicz, editors. Palgrave MacMillon, 2011.

“The Impact of Rate Regulation on Claims: Evidence from Massachusetts Automobile Insurance,” with Richard A. Derrig, Risk Management and Insurance Review 14(2) Fall 2011: 173-200.

“Incentive Effects of Community Rating in Insurance Markets: Evidence from Massachusetts Automobile Insurance,” Geneva Risk and Insurance Review 35(1) June 2010: 19-46 .

“Do State Cost Control Policies Reduce Medicaid Prescription Drug Spending?” with Kosali I. Simon and Julie Hudman, Risk Management and Insurance Review 12(1) Winter 2009: 37-64.

Selected Keywords:
Consumer Policy, Government Regulation, Insurance, Financial Services, Law and Economics

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.