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The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography and Institutions: Comment

  • Eiji Yamamura


    (Seinan Gakuin University)

Kahn (2005) found that ethnic heterogeneity reduces the number of deaths caused by natural disasters, a finding that is contrary to theoretical predictions. This paper casts doubt on this finding and conducts a re-estimation. To control for measurement problems, I have used not only an ethnic fractionalization index but also an ethnic polarization index to capture ethnic heterogeneity. The key finding is that ethnic polarization is positively related to number of deaths, while ethnic fractionalization is not. This implies that ethnic polarization is a more appropriate measure for ethnic heterogeneity than ethnic fractionalization.

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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 1545-1554

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00844
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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  3. 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.
  4. Monica Escaleras & Nejat Anbarci & Charles Register, 2007. "Public sector corruption and major earthquakes: A potentially deadly interaction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 209-230, July.
  5. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Simon Johnson & Peter Boone & Alasdair Breach & Eric Friedman, 1999. "Corporate Governance in the Asian Financial Crisis," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 297, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  7. Oguzhan C. Dincer, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity And Trust," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 284-293, 04.
  8. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2005. "Economic Development and the Impacts of Natural Disasters," Working Papers 05-04, UW-Whitewater, Department of Economics.
  9. Anbarci, Nejat & Escaleras, Monica & Register, Charles A., 2005. "Earthquake fatalities: the interaction of nature and political economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1907-1933, September.
  10. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
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