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Density and Disasters: Economics of Urban Hazard Risk

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  • Somik V. Lall
  • Uwe Deichmann

Abstract

Today, 370 million people live in cities in earthquake prone areas and 310 million in cities with a high probability of tropical cyclones. By 2050 these numbers are likely to more than double, leading to a greater concentration of hazard risk in many of the world's cities. The authors discuss what sets hazard risk in urban areas apart, summarize estimates of valuation of hazard risk, and discuss implications for individual mitigation and public policy. The main conclusions are that urban agglomeration economies change the cost–benefit calculation of hazard mitigation; that good hazard management is first and foremost good general urban management; and that the public sector must perform better in promoting market-based risk reduction by generating and disseminating credible information on hazard risk in cities. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:27:y:2012:i:1:p:74-105
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/wbro/lkr006
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    Cited by:

    1. Kousky, Carolyn, 2012. "Informing Climate Adaptation: A Review of the Economic Costs of Natural Disasters, Their Determinants, and Risk Reduction Options," Discussion Papers dp-12-28, Resources For the Future.
    2. Fatima Shah & Federica Ranghieri, 2012. "A Workbook on Planning for Urban Resilience in the Face of Disasters : Adapting Experiences from Vietnam’s Cities to Other Cities," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2235.
    3. Hallegatte, Stephane, 2012. "An exploration of the link between development, economic growth, and natural risk," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6216, The World Bank.
    4. Hallegatte,Stephane & Bangalore,Mook & Jouanjean,Marie Agnes, 2016. "Higher losses and slower development in the absence of disaster risk management investments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7632, The World Bank.
    5. repec:wbk:wbpubs:15790 is not listed on IDEAS

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