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Natural natural disasters and economic disruption

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  • Yanos Zylberberg

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

Abstract

The cost of natural calamities is not limited to direct capital losses. Economies in the wake of severe shocks experience important slowdowns. I construct an exhaustive dataset of objective measures on cyclones and earthquakes worldwide between 1980 and 2006 and complement existing reports on direct damages. I then estimate the amplitude of indirect economic losses in the aftermath of catastrophes. Declared damages accounting for 1% of GDP are associated with a slowdown of .05 to .06 points of GDP growth. The economic slack piles up to .4 points of GDP when I instrument by actual exposure to alleviate censorship issues and declaration biases. This output loss is superior to what would suggest a model of labor frictions and capital losses and points to large business disruptions. Finally, the objective measures happen to be better at predicting the economic slack than estimations from officials.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00564946.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00564946

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Keywords: natural disasters ; economic disruption ; declaration biases;

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  1. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2002. "Do Natural Disasters Promote Long-Run Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 664-687, October.
  2. Noy, Ilan, 2009. "The macroeconomic consequences of disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 221-231, March.
  3. Strobl, Eric, 2012. "The economic growth impact of natural disasters in developing countries: Evidence from hurricane strikes in the Central American and Caribbean regions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 130-141.
  4. Ramcharan, Rodney, 2007. "Does the exchange rate regime matter for real shocks? Evidence from windstorms and earthquakes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 31-47, September.
  5. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2005. "Economic Development and the Impacts of Natural Disasters," Working Papers 05-04, UW-Whitewater, Department of Economics.
  6. Dean Yang & HwaJung Choi, 2005. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," Working Papers 535, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  7. Albala-Bertrand, J. M., 1993. "Natural disaster situations and growth: A macroeconomic model for sudden disaster impacts," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1417-1434, September.
  8. Tobias N. Rasmussen, 2004. "Macroeconomic Implications of Natural Disasters in the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 04/224, International Monetary Fund.
  9. 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.
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