Does rising income increase or decrease damage risk from natural disasters?
Recent empirical literature has found a negative relationship between income per capita and measures of risk from natural disaster, supportive of logic that higher incomes allow countries to mitigate disaster risk. We argue that behavioral changes at the micro level in response to increasing income (such as location choice and extent of costly abatement activity) may lead to a non-linear relationship between aggregate incomes and disaster damages, where the risks increase with income before they decrease. In a country-year panel data set, we show that disaster risk associated with flooding, landslides and windstorms increases with income up to GDP per capita levels of $5044, $3360, and $4688 per year respectively and decrease thereafter. Such non-linear impacts are absent for other disaster types such as extreme temperature events and earthquakes where the links between human behavioral choices and exposure to risk are not as strong. From a policy perspective, this suggests that for the least developed countries, the dual goals of disaster risk prevention and economic development cannot be assumed to be complementary for all forms of natural disaster. In addition to allocating resources to manage disaster risk, the poorest nations may have to be more proactive in enacting policies that alter the behavioral choices of citizens that impact a country's exposure to natural disaster risk.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Nicole Cornell Sadowski & Daniel Sutter, 2005. "Hurricane Fatalities and Hurricane Damages: Are Safer Hurricanes More Damaging?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 422-432, October.
- Daniel L. Millimet & John A. List & Thanasis Stengos, 2003.
"The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Real Progress or Misspecified Models?,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1038-1047, November.
- John List & Daniel Millimet & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Real Progress or Misspecified Models?," Natural Field Experiments 00500, The Field Experiments Website.
- Stengos, T. & Millimet, D.L. & List, J.A., 2002. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Real Progress or Misspecified Models?," Working Papers 2002-13, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
- Rappaport, Jordan & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 2003. "The United States as a Coastal Nation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
- List, John A & Gallet, Craig A, 1999.
"The Kuznets Curve: What Happens after the Inverted-U?,"
Review of Development Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 200-206, June.
- Craig Gallet & John List, 1999. "The Kuznets Curve: What Happens After the InvertedU?," Natural Field Experiments 00529, The Field Experiments Website.
- Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1995.
"Economic Growth and the Environment,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-377.
- Susmita Dasgupta & Benoit Laplante & Hua Wang & David Wheeler, 2002. "Confronting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 147-168, Winter.
- Kunreuther, Howard, 1996. "Mitigating Disaster Losses through Insurance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 12(2-3), pages 171-187, May.
- Hettige, Hemamala & Mani, Muthukumara & Wheeler, David, 2000. "Industrial pollution in economic development: the environmental Kuznets curve revisited," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 445-476, August.
- Brookshire, David S, et al, 1985. "A Test of the Expected Utility Model: Evidence from Earthquake Risks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 369-389, April.
- Vernon Henderson, 2002. "Urbanization in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 89-112.
- Austin Troy & Jeff Romm, 2004. "Assessing the price effects of flood hazard disclosure under the California natural hazard disclosure law (AB 1195)," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 137-162.
- Hallstrom, Daniel G. & Smith, V. Kerry, 2005. "Market responses to hurricanes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 541-561, November.
- Michael Keen & Paul K. Freeman & Muthukumara Mani, 2003. "Dealing with Increased Risk of Natural Disasters; Challenges and Options," IMF Working Papers 03/197, International Monetary Fund.
- Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2002. "Do Natural Disasters Promote Long-Run Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 664-687, October.
- Neil Adger, W., 1999. "Social Vulnerability to Climate Change and Extremes in Coastal Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 249-269, February.
- Cummins, J. David & Lalonde, David & Phillips, Richard D., 2004.
"The basis risk of catastrophic-loss index securities,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 77-111, January.
- J. David Cummins & David Lalonde & Richard D. Phillips, 2000. "The Basis Risk of Catastrophic-Loss Index Securities," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 00-22, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jha, Sailesh K., 1996. "The Kuznets curve: A reassessment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 773-780, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:3:p:788-802. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.