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Natural disasters and household welfare : evidence from Vietnam

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  • Thomas, Timothy
  • Christiaensen, Luc
  • Do, Quy Toan
  • Trung, Le Dang

Abstract

As natural disasters hit with increasing frequency, especially in coastal areas, it is imperative to better understand how much natural disasters affect economies and their people. This requires disaggregated measures of natural disasters that can be reliably linked to households, the first challenge this paper tackles. In particular, a methodology is illustrated to create natural disaster and hazard maps from first hand, geo-referenced meteorological data. In a second step, the repeated cross-sectional national living standard measurement surveys (2002, 2004, and 2006) from Vietnam are augmented with the natural disaster measures derived in the first phase, to estimate the welfare effects associated with natural disasters. The results indicate that short-run losses from natural disasters can be substantial, with riverine floods causing welfare losses of up to 23 percent and hurricanes reducing welfare by up to 52 percent inside cities with a population over 500,000. Households are better able to cope with the short-run effects of droughts, largely due to irrigation. There are also important long-run negative effects, in Vietnam mostly so for droughts, flash floods, and hurricanes. Geographical differentiation in the welfare effects across space and disaster appears partly linked to the functioning of the disaster relief system, which has so far largely eluded households in areas regularly affected by hurricane force winds.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5491.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5491

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Keywords: Natural Disasters; Hazard Risk Management; Disaster Management; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Adaptation to Climate Change;

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  7. Maxx Dilley & Robert S. Chen & Uwe Deichmann & Arthur L. Lerner-Lam & Margaret Arnold, 2005. "Natural Disaster Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7376, August.
  8. Lopez, Ramon, 2009. "Natural disasters and the dynamics of intangible assets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4874, The World Bank.
  9. Hallegatte, Stéphane & Dumas, Patrice, 2009. "Can natural disasters have positive consequences? Investigating the role of embodied technical change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 777-786, January.
  10. Masako Hasegawa, 2010. "Risk Coping Measures against Different Types of Shocks: Empirical Evidence from Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey," OSIPP Discussion Paper, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University 10E006, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
  11. Costanza, Robert & Farley, Joshua, 2007. "Ecological economics of coastal disasters: Introduction to the special issue," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 249-253, August.
  12. Loayza, Norman & Olaberria, Eduardo & Rigolini, Jamele & Christiaensen, Luc, 2009. "Natural disasters and growth - going beyond the averages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4980, The World Bank.
  13. Le Dang Trung & Tran Ngo Minh Tam & Bob Baulch & Henrik Hansen, 2007. "Testing for Food market integration: A study of the Vietnamese paddy market," Working Papers 11, Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), Vietnam.
  14. Valerie Mueller & Daniel Osgood, 2009. "Long-term Impacts of Droughts on Labour Markets in Developing Countries: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1651-1662.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Noy, Ilan & Karim, Azreen, 2013. "Poverty, inequality and natural disasters – A survey," Working Paper Series, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance 2974, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Vu, Tam Bang & Noy, Ilan, 2013. "Natural disasters and firms in Vietnam," Working Paper Series, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance 3063, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
  3. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja & Conroy, Hector V., 2011. "The impacts of climate variability on welfare in rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5555, The World Bank.
  4. Tobias Lechtenfeld & Steffen Lohmann, 2014. "The Effect of Drought on Health Outcomes and Health Expenditures in Rural Vietnam," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 156, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  5. World Bank, 2012. "The Welfare Effects of Extreme Weather Events : Insights from Three APEC Case Studies," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13039, The World Bank.
  6. Lazzaroni, S. & Bedi, A.S., 2014. "Weather variability and food consumption," ISS Working Papers - General Series, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague 585, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  7. Karim, Azreen & Noy, Ilan, 2014. "Poverty and natural disasters: A meta-analysis," Working Paper Series, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance 3234, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.

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