An exploration of the link between development, economic growth, and natural risk
AbstractThis paper investigates the link between development, economic growth, and the economic losses from natural disasters in a general analytical framework, with an illustration on hurricane flood risks in New Orleans. It concludes that, where capital accumulates through increased density of capital at risk in a given area, (i) the probability of disaster occurrence decreases with income; (ii) capital at risk – and thus economic losses in case of disaster -- increases faster than economic growth; (iii) increasing risk-taking reinforces economic growth. Economic growth and improved protection transfer risks from frequent low-intensity events to rarer high-impact events. In this context, average annual losses from disasters grow with income, and they grow faster than income at low levels of development and slower than income at high levels of development. These findings are robust to a broad range of modeling choices and parameter values, to the inclusion of risk aversion, and to variations in the decision-making framework (including the introduction of prospect theory's decision weights, biases in risk perception and myopic expectations). They show that risk-taking is both a driver and a consequence of economic development, that risk taking should not be indiscriminately suppressed, and that the world is very likely to experience fewer but more costly disasters in the future.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6216.
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Economic Theory&Research; Hazard Risk Management; Banks&Banking Reform; Insurance&Risk Mitigation; Labor Policies;
Other versions of this item:
- Stéphane Hallegatte, 2013. "An Exploration of the Link Between Development, Economic Growth, and Natural Risk," Working Papers 2013.29, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- O10 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
- O44 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-10-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2012-10-13 (Development)
- NEP-RMG-2012-10-13 (Risk Management)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hallegatte, Stephane & Hourcade, Jean-Charles & Dumas, Patrice, 2007. "Why economic dynamics matter in assessing climate change damages: Illustration on extreme events," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 330-340, April.
- Hallegatte, Stephane, 2011. "How economic growth and rational decisions can make disaster losses grow faster than wealth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5617, The World Bank.
- William D. Nordhaus, 2010. "The Economics Of Hurricanes And Implications Of Global Warming," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(01), pages 1-20.
- Hogarth, Robin M & Kunreuther, Howard, 1995. "Decision Making under Ignorance: Arguing with Yourself," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 15-36, January.
- Silvio Schmidt & Claudia Kemfert & Peter Höppe, 2008. "Tropical Cyclone Losses in the USA and the Impact of Climate Change: A Trend Analysis Based on a New Dataset," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 802, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Raymond Burby & Arthur Nelson & Dennis Parker & John Handmer, 2001. "Urban Containment Policy and Exposure to Natural Hazards: Is There a Connection?," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 475-490.
- Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003.
" The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
- Aldy, Joseph E. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2003. "The Value of Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Working paper 282, Regulation2point0.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Loayza, Norman V. & Olaberría, Eduardo & Rigolini, Jamele & Christiaensen, Luc, 2012.
"Natural Disasters and Growth: Going Beyond the Averages,"
Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1317-1336.
- 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.
- Lall, Somik V. & Deichmann, Uwe, 2009.
"Density and disasters: economics of urban hazard risk,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
5161, The World Bank.
- Somik V. Lall & Uwe Deichmann, 2012. "Density and Disasters: Economics of Urban Hazard Risk," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 27(1), pages 74-105, February.
- Arrow, Kenneth J & Lind, Robert C, 1970. "Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 364-78, June.
- Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2005.
"Economic Development and the Impacts of Natural Disasters,"
05-04, UW-Whitewater, Department of Economics.
- Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
- Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
- Susan Hanson & Robert Nicholls & N. Ranger & S. Hallegatte & J. Corfee-Morlot & C. Herweijer & J. Chateau, 2011. "A global ranking of port cities with high exposure to climate extremes," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 89-111, January.
- Kaplow, Louis, 1991.
" Incentives and Government Relief for Risk,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 167-75, April.
- Hallegatte, Stephane, 2012. "A cost effective solution to reduce disaster losses in developing countries : hydro-meteorological services, early warning, and evacuation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6058, The World Bank.
- Stéphane Hallegatte & Valentin Przyluski, 2010. "The Economics of Natural Disasters," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 14-24, 07.
- Fomby, Thomas & Ikeda, Yuki & Loayza, Norman, 2009.
"The growth aftermath of natural disasters,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
5002, The World Bank.
- Ciccone, Antonio, 2002.
"Agglomeration effects in Europe,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 213-227, February.
- 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.
- Colin F. Camerer & Howard Kunreuther, 1989. "Decision processes for low probability events: Policy implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 565-592.
- Lewis, Tracy & Nickerson, David, 1989. "Self-insurance against natural disasters," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 209-223, May.
- Joanne Linnerooth-Bayer & Koko Warner & Christoph Bals & Peter H�ppe & Ian Burton & Thomas Loster & Armin Haas, 2009. "Insurance, Developing Countries and Climate Change," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 381-400, July.
- Kellenberg, Derek K. & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, 2008. "Does rising income increase or decrease damage risk from natural disasters?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 788-802, May.
- Hallegatte, Stephane & Shah, Ankur & Lempert, Robert & Brown, Casey & Gill, Stuart, 2012. "Investment decision making under deep uncertainty -- application to climate change," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6193, The World Bank.
- Schumacher, Ingmar & Strobl, Eric, 2011. "Economic development and losses due to natural disasters: The role of hazard exposure," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 97-105.
- Henriet, F. & Hallegatte, S. & Tabourier, L., 2011.
"Firm-Network Characteristics and Economic Robustness to Natural Disasters,"
355, Banque de France.
- Henriet, Fanny & Hallegatte, Stéphane & Tabourier, Lionel, 2012. "Firm-network characteristics and economic robustness to natural disasters," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 150-167.
- Nicola Ranger & Stéphane Hallegatte & Sumana Bhattacharya & Murthy Bachu & Satya Priya & K. Dhore & Farhat Rafique & P. Mathur & Nicolas Naville & Fanny Henriet & Celine Herweijer & Sanjib Pohit & Ja, 2011. "An assessment of the potential impact of climate change on flood risk in Mumbai," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 139-167, January.
- Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1995. "Regulation, moral hazard and insurance of environmental risks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 319-336, November.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Risk-taking and economic growth in natural disaster zones
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-11-15 15:28:00
- Lempert, Robert & Kalra, Nidhi & Peyraud, Suzanne & Mao, Zhimin & Tan, Sinh Bach & Cira, Dean & Lotsch, Alexander, 2013. "Ensuring robust flood risk management in Ho Chi Minh city," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6465, The World Bank.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.