Have natural disasters become deadlier?
AbstractAbstract The present study seeks to build on earlier work by identifying the factors associated with the frequency of natural disasters and the resulting mortality. Drawing together the main findings, some observations are made from a policy perspective to focus on key elements of a disaster reduction strategy. Countries that were prone to natural disasters in the decade 1970-79 continued to be so in the next two decades. Geophysical factors (e.g. whether landlocked, size of a country) had an important role in explaining inter-country variation in the occurrence of natural disasters. However, income did not have any effect. Deaths varied with the number of disasters; they also varied with (lagged) deaths in the previous decade; poor countries suffered more deaths; and, controlling for these and other effects, larger countries suffered more deaths. The pay-off from learning from experience is high. Even moderate learning can save a large number of deaths (e.g. through early warning systems, better coordination between governments and communities likely to be affected). Growth acceleration would also help avert deaths through more resources for disaster prevention and mitigation capabilities. A combination of the two – learning from past experience and more resources for disaster prevention and mitigation – would result in a massive reduction in deaths from disasters. Attention is drawn to segmented and shallow disaster insurance markets; the Samaritan’s dilemma in providing emergency assistance to poor countries that neglect investment in protective measures; the need for mainstreaming of disaster prevention and mitigation among multilateral development agencies and governments, as also growth acceleration; why short-term relief must be combined with rebuilding of livelihoods and reconstruction, and the potential for public-private partnerships; and, above all, the need for building ownership of local communities and preservation of social networks. A challenge for development assistance is to combine growth acceleration with speedy relief and a durable reduction in vulnerability to natural disasters.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by BWPI, The University of Manchester in its series Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series with number 18113.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-02 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Noy, Ilan, 2009.
"The macroeconomic consequences of disasters,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 221-231, March.
- Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- Sen, Amartya, 1998.
"Mortality as an Indicator of Economic Success and Failure,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 1-25, January.
- Amartya Sen, 1995. "Mortality as an Indicator of Economic Success and Failure," Innocenti Lectures innlec95/2, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
- John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography, and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 271-284, May.
- repec:idb:brikps:36798 is not listed on IDEAS
- Viscusi, W. Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2011.
"Addressing Catastrophic Risks: Disparate Anatomies Require Tailored Therapies,"
Working Paper Series
rwp11-045, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Viscusi, Kip W. & Zeckhauser, Richard Jay, 2011. "Addressing Catastrophic Risks: Disparate Anatomies Require Tailored Therapies," Scholarly Articles 5688700, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2006.
"National Survey Evidence on Disasters and Relief: Risk Beliefs, Self-Interest, and Compassion,"
NBER Working Papers
12582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- W. Viscusi & Richard Zeckhauser, 2006. "National survey evidence on disasters and relief: Risk beliefs, self-interest, and compassion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 13-36, September.
- Viscusi, W. Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2006. "National Survey Evidence on Disasters and Relief: Risk Beliefs, Self-Interest, and Compassion," Working paper 435, Regulation2point0.
- Lester Lave & Jay Apt, 2006. "Planning for natural disasters in a stochastic world," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 117-130, September.
- Michael Keen & Paul K. Freeman & Muthukumara Mani, 2003. "Dealing with Increased Risk of Natural Disasters: Challenges and Options," IMF Working Papers 03/197, International Monetary Fund.
- Cole, Shawn & Healy, Andrew & Werker, Eric, 2012. "Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 167-181.
- Stéphane Hallegatte & Valentin Przyluski, 2010. "The Economics of Natural Disasters," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 14-24, 07.
- Carter, Michael R. & Little, Peter D. & Mogues, Tewodaj & Negatu, Workneh, 2007. "Poverty Traps and Natural Disasters in Ethiopia and Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 835-856, May.
- Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2005.
"Economic Development and the Impacts of Natural Disasters,"
05-04, UW-Whitewater, Department of Economics.
- Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
- Kenneth A. Froot & Paul G.J. O'Connell, .
"On the Pricing of Intermediated Risks: Theory and Application to Catastrophe Reinsurance,"
Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers
97-24, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Froot, Kenneth A. & O'Connell, Paul G.J., 2008. "On the pricing of intermediated risks: Theory and application to catastrophe reinsurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 69-85, January.
- Kenneth A. Froot & Paul G. J. O'Connell, 1997. "On The Pricing of Intermediated Risks: Theory and Application to Catastrophe Reinsurance," NBER Working Papers 6011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dasgupta, Partha, 2007. "Economics: A Very Short Introduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192853455.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Clare Degenhardt).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.