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The Economics of Catastrophes

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  • Zeckhauser, Richard J

Abstract

Catastrophes can profitably be thought of as economic events. This essay begins by considering the consumption of catastrophes, stressing the way that we disseminate information about them, and respond, possibly on a nonrational basis. Catastrophes are produced through a combination of actions by nature and humans. Due to inappropriate incentives, human actions often exacerbate outcomes. This is particularly true in "micromotive" situations, such as the AIDS epidemic, where actions by many players produce a collectively bad outcome. Mechanisms to prevent or ameliorate catastrophes--liability, insurance, and government regulation--are considered. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1996. "The Economics of Catastrophes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 12(2-3), pages 113-140, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:12:y:1996:i:2-3:p:113-40
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    Cited by:

    1. Merrifield, John, 2002. "A general equilibrium analysis of the insurance bonding approach to pollution threats," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 103-115, January.
    2. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "How does corruption influence perceptions of the risk of nuclear accidents?: cross-country analysis after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan," MPRA Paper 31708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Experience of technological and natural disasters and their impact on the perceived risk of nuclear accidents after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan 2011: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 360-363.
    4. Yasuyuki Sawada & Satoshi Shimizutani, 2005. "Are People Insured Against Natural Disasters? Evidence from the Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) Earthquake in 1995," CARF F-Series CARF-F-019, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    5. W. Viscusi & Richard Zeckhauser, 2006. "National survey evidence on disasters and relief: Risk beliefs, self-interest, and compassion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 13-36, September.
    6. André SCHMITT & Sandrine SPAETER, 2005. "Hedging Strategies and the Financing of the 1992 International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund," Working Papers of BETA 2005-12, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    7. Carolyn Kousky & Erzo Luttmer & Richard Zeckhauser, 2006. "Private investment and government protection," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 73-100, September.
    8. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian & Pierre Yared, 2010. "The Institutional Causes of China's Great Famine, 1959-61," NBER Working Papers 16361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Skidmore, Mark, 2001. "Risk, natural disasters, and household savings in a life cycle model," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 15-34, January.
    10. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of free media on views regarding the safety of nuclear energy after the 2011 disasters in Japan: evidence using cross-country data," MPRA Paper 32011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Scholtens, Bert & Boersen, Arieke, 2011. "Stocks and energy shocks: The impact of energy accidents on stock market value," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 1698-1702.
    12. Andrew Worthington & Abbas Valadkhani, 2004. "Measuring the impact of natural disasters on capital markets: an empirical application using intervention analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(19), pages 2177-2186.
    13. Dorte Gyrd-Hansen & Peder Andreas Halvorsen & Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen, 2008. "Willingness-to-pay for a statistical life in the times of a pandemic," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 55-66.
    14. Christoph M. Rheinberger & Nicolas Treich, 2017. "Attitudes Toward Catastrophe," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 67(3), pages 609-636, July.
    15. repec:eee:regeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:12-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Effect of Free Media on Views Regarding Nuclear Energy after the Fukushima Accident," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 132-141, February.
    17. Matthew Kahn, 2007. "Environmental disasters as risk regulation catalysts? The role of Bhopal, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Love Canal, and Three Mile Island in shaping U.S. environmental law," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 17-43, August.

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