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

Author

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  • Eiji Yamamura

    () (Seinan Gakuin University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography and Institutions: Comment," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1545-1554.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00844
    as

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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2012/Volume32/EB-12-V32-I2-P149.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2003. "Institutional causes, macroeconomic symptoms: volatility, crises and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 49-123, January.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    5. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
    6. Johnson, Simon & Boone, Peter & Breach, Alasdair & Friedman, Eric, 2000. "Corporate governance in the Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 141-186.
    7. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. 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.
    11. Oguzhan C. Dincer, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity And Trust," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 284-293, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deaths; Natural disaster; Ethnic fractionalization; Ethic polarization; Legal origin; Institution.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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