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Natural disasters and growth: evidence using a wide panel of countries


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  • Christian R. Jaramillo H.



Large natural disasters (LNDs) are ubiquitous phenomena with potentially large impacts on the infrastructure and population of countries, and on their economic activity in general. I examine the occurrence pattern of several types of disasters on a panel of 113 countries and its relationship with economic growth using data ranging from 1960 to 1996. The disasters are earthquakes, floods, slides, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, wind storms, wild fires and extreme temperatures. The country sample is partitioned in two ways: small, medium and large population; and low, medium and high income. The results suggest a heterogeneous pattern of short and long-term impact of LNDs, depending on the per capita GDP, the size of the countries studied and the type of LND. Overall, and contrary to previous research, LNDs appear to have persistent effects on the rate of GDP growth in the period between 1960 and 1996. These effects range from a decrease of 0.9% to an increase of 0.6%, depending on the type of disaster.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 003927.

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Length: 45
Date of creation: 03 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:col:000089:003927

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Keywords: Natural disasters; catastrophes; growth; foreign aid; panel data;

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Cited by:
  1. Loayza, Norman & Olaberria, Eduardo & Rigolini, Jamele & Christiaensen, Luc, 2009. "Natural disasters and growth - going beyond the averages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4980, The World Bank.
  2. Suman K SHARMA, 2010. "Socio-Economic Aspects of Disaster’s Impact: An Assessment of Databases and Methodologies," Economic Growth centre Working Paper Series 1001, Nanyang Technolgical University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Economic Growth centre.
  3. Christian R. Jaramillo H., 2009. "Do Natural Disasters Have Long-term Effects on Growth?," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 006647, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.


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