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Death Caused By Natural Disasters: The Role Of Ethnic Heterogeneity

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  • Eiji Yamamura

Abstract

Kahn (2005) found that ethnic heterogeneity reduces the number of deaths caused by natural disasters, a finding that is contrary to theoretical predictions. This paper casts doubt on this finding and uses cross-country data from 1965 to 2008 to conduct a re-estimation. To alleviate omitted variable bias, a legal origin dummy and additional economic variables are incorporated as independent variables. Further, to control for measurement problems, I have included an ethnic fractionalization index and an ethnic polarization index to capture ethnic heterogeneity. The key finding is that ethnic polarization is positively related to number of deaths, while ethnic fractionalization is not. This implies that ethnic polarization increases the level of damage caused by natural disasters, and is a more appropriate measure for ethnic heterogeneity than ethnic fractionalization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI_RP_2011_10.

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Date of creation: 10 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2011_10

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Keywords: Deaths; Natural disaster; Ethnic fractionalization; Ethic polarization; Legal origin; Institution.;

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References

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
  3. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
  4. Oguzhan C. Dincer, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity And Trust," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 284-293, 04.
  5. Monica Escaleras & Nejat Anbarci & Charles Register, 2007. "Public sector corruption and major earthquakes: A potentially deadly interaction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 209-230, July.
  6. Anbarci, Nejat & Escaleras, Monica & Register, Charles A., 2005. "Earthquake fatalities: the interaction of nature and political economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1907-1933, September.
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  1. Ethnic heterogeneity and natural disasters
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-09-26 14:25:00

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