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An empirical investigation of socio-economic resilience to natural disasters

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  • Akter, Sonia
  • Mallick, Bishawjit

Abstract

This paper presents an empirical investigation of socio-economic resilience to natural disasters of a tropical cyclone-prone coastal community in Bangladesh. It applies the state-and-transition model, a widely used applied ecology model, to (1) assess the current state of socio-economic resilience to tropical cyclone, (2) identify its drivers and (3) examine its nexus with poverty and socio-economic vulnerability. The results of this study can be summarized into three key findings. First, tropical cyclones had significant negative medium-run impacts on coastal residents’ lives and livelihoods, particularly in terms of income, employment and access to clean water and sanitation. Second, the loss of productive assets, human capital shock, credit constraint and proximity to the forest reserve were the key factors explaining resilience heterogeneity across households. Finally, although the poor were the most vulnerable and suffered from relatively higher economic, physical and structural damage, they exhibited relatively better ability to cope and recover from the shock compared to the non-poor. These findings imply that the increased risk of tropical cyclone is likely to reduce income and standards of living among the tropical coastal communities. However, the burden of these adverse impacts is unlikely to be disproportionally borne by the poorer segment of the society.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 50375.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:50375

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Keywords: State-and-transition model; socio-economic vulnerability; socio-economic resilience; natural disasters; tropical cyclone; Bangladesh;

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  1. Neil Adger, W., 1999. "Social Vulnerability to Climate Change and Extremes in Coastal Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 249-269, February.
  2. van den Berg, Marrit, 2010. "Household income strategies and natural disasters: Dynamic livelihoods in rural Nicaragua," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 592-602, January.
  3. Mahmud, Tanvir & Prowse, Martin, 2012. "Corruption in Cyclone Preparedness and Relief Efforts in Coastal Bangladesh: Lessons for Climate Adaptation?," IOB Working Papers, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB) 2012.04, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB).
  4. Mohapatra, Sanket & Joseph, George & Ratha, Dilip, 2009. "Remittances and natural disasters : ex-post response and contribution to ex-ante preparedness," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4972, The World Bank.
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