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Poverty and natural disasters: A meta-analysis

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  • Karim, Azreen
  • Noy, Ilan
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Abstract

We conduct a meta-regression analysis of the existing literature on the impacts of disasters on households, focusing on the poor and on poverty measures. We find much heterogeneity in these impacts, but several general patterns, often observed in individual case-studies, emerge. Incomes are clearly impacted adversely, with the impact observed specifically in per-capita measures (so it is not due to the mortality caused by the observed disaster). Consumption is also reduced, but to a lesser extent than incomes. Importantly, poor households appear to smooth their food consumption by reducing the consumption of non-food items; the most significant items in this category are spending on housing, health, and education. This suggests potentially long-term adverse consequences as consumption of these services is often better viewed as long-term investment. We do not find consistent patterns in long-term impacts; it appears the limits of the meta-regression methodology prevent us from observing patterns in the relatively few heterogeneous research projects that examine these long-term effects. The importance of addressing risk within the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation is clear. The impact of disasters on the poor may be increasingly worrying considering the climate variations we anticipate.

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File URL: http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/3234
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Paper Series with number 3234.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:3234

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Postal: Alice Fong, Administrator, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600 Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (4) 463-5353
Fax: +64 (4) 463-5014
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Web page: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef
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Keywords: Disaster; Natural; Poverty; Natural disasters;

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  1. Narayanan, K. & Sahu, Santosh Kumar, 2011. "Health, income inequality and climate related disasters at household level: reflections from an Orissa District," MPRA Paper 35028, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  20. Auffret, Philippe, 2003. "High consumption volatility : the impact of natural disasters?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2962, The World Bank.
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