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Disaster Risk, Social Vulnerability and Economic Development

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  • Ward, Patrick S.
  • Shively, Gerald E.

Abstract

We examine the extent to which economic development reduces both a country's disaster risk and its social vulnerability to climate-related disasters. Global climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, and various types of storms. Moreover, the effects of these extreme weather events are expected to be borne disproportionately in areas of the world already challenged by underdevelopment. We find that the ability of economic development to reduce disaster risk depends on a country's income level; additional income becomes less effective in reducing disaster risk as countries become wealthier. We find that, conditional on a disaster occurring, higher incomes generally reduce a country's social vulnerability to such disasters. We additionally find that underlying political structures have an important influence over the human costs of disasters, with outcomes more favorable in democratic societies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with number 102984.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:102984

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Related research

Keywords: Natural disasters; climate change; economic development; vulnerability; International Development; Political Economy; I3; Q5; O2;

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  1. Ben-David, Dan, 1993. "Equalizing Exchange: Trade Liberalization and Income Convergence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 653-79, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Shively, Gerald E. & Ward, Patrick S. & Diffenbaugh, Noah S., 2009. "Vulnerability, Income Growth and Climate Change," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 49943, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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