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Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters

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  • Lisa Cameron
  • Manisha Shah

Abstract

We investigate whether experiencing a natural disaster affects risk-taking behavior. We conduct standard risk games (using real money) with randomly selected individuals in rural Indonesia. We find that individuals who recently suffered a flood or earthquake exhibit more risk aversion. Experiencing a natural disaster causes people to perceive that they now face a greater risk of a future disaster. We conclude that this change in perception of background risk causes people to take fewer risks. We provide evidence that experimental risk behavior is correlated with real life risk behavior, highlighting the importance of our results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19534.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19534

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References

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  1. Ilan Noy, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Disasters," Working Papers 200707, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  2. Finlay, Jocelyn E., 2009. "Fertility response to natural disasters : the case of three high mortality earthquakes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4883, The World Bank.
  3. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2009. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk-Taking?," NBER Working Papers 14813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Yohannes, Yisehac & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2009. "Natural disasters, self-insurance and human capital investment : evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4910, The World Bank.
  5. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Baez, Javier E. & de la Fuente, Alejandro & Santos, Indhira, 2010. "Do Natural Disasters Affect Human Capital? An Assessment Based on Existing Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 5164, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Timothy Halliday, 2005. "Migration, Risk and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador," Working Papers 200511, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics, revised 28 Mar 2006.
  8. Eckel, Catherine C. & El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Wilson, Rick K., 2009. "Risk loving after the storm: A Bayesian-Network study of Hurricane Katrina evacuees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 110-124, February.
  9. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian & Schlesinger, Harris, 1996. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk-Taking Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 683-89, May.
  10. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu, 2010. "In aid we trust : hearts and minds and the Pakistan earthquake of 2005," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5440, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lionel Page & David Savage & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Variation in risk seeking behavior in a natural experiment on large losses induced by a natural disaster," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  2. Leonardo Becchetti & Stefano Castriota & Pierluigi Conzo, 2012. "Calamity, Aid and Indirect Reciprocity: the Long Run Impact of Tsunami on Altruism," CEIS Research Paper 239, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 06 Jul 2012.
  3. Treffers, T. & Koellinger, Ph.D. & Picot, A.O., 2012. "In the Mood for Risk? A Random-Assignment Experiment Addressing the Effects of Moods on Risk Preferences," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2012-014-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  4. Anh Duc Dang, 2012. "Cooperation makes beliefs: Weather variation and sources of social trust in Vietnam," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2012-596, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  5. Sanjaya, Muhammad Ryan, 2013. "On the source of risk aversion in Indonesia using micro data 2007," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-33, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  6. Menéndez, Marta & Gignoux, Jérémie, 2012. "Critical periods and the long-run effects of income shocks on education: evidence from Indonesia," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6637, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri, 2013. "Financial Risk Aversion and Personal Life History," Working Papers 05/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  8. Marc Willinger & Mohamed Ali Bchir & Carine Heitz, 2013. "Risk and time preferences under the threat of background risk: a case-study of lahars risk in central Java," Working Papers 13-08, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised May 2013.
  9. Mohamed Ali Bchir & Marc Willinger, 2013. "Does the exposure to natural hazards affect risk and time preferences? Some insights from a field experiment in Perú," Working Papers 13-04, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Mar 2013.
  10. Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Chmura, Thorsten & Martinsson, Peter, 2012. "Risk attitudes, development, and growth: Macroeconomic evidence from experiments in 30 countries," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2012-401, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  11. Alain Cohn & Jan Engelmann & Ernst Fehr & Michel Maréchal, 2013. "Evidence for countercyclical risk aversion: an experiment with financial professionals," UBSCENTER - Working Papers 004, UBS International Center of Economics in Society - Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. repec:dgr:eureri:1765037344 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Necker, Sarah & Ziegelmeyer, Michael, 2014. "Household Risk Taking after the Financial Crisis," MEA discussion paper series 14279, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  14. Lionel Page & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Variation in risk seeking behavior following large losses: A natural experiment," QuBE Working Papers 007, QUT Business School.
  15. Trautmann, S.T. & Kuilen, G. van de, 2011. "Belief Elicitation: A Horse Race among Truth Serums," Discussion Paper 2011-117, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  16. Anh Duc Dang, 2012. "On the Sources of Risk Preferences in Rural Vietnam," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2012-593, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  17. Pierluigi Conzo, 2014. "Trust and Cheating in Sri Lanka: The Role of Experimentally-Induced Emotions about Tsunam," CSEF Working Papers 355, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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