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Hurricane Fatalities and Hurricane Damages: Are Safer Hurricanes More Damaging?

Author

Listed:
  • Nicole Cornell Sadowski

    () (Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma)

  • Daniel Sutter

    () (Department of Economics, University of Oklahoma)

Abstract

The rising cost of hurricanes and other natural hazards has been a concern to policy makers and insurance industry executives. We offer a heretofore overlooked explanation for rising hurricane damages—the reduction in fatalities from hurricanes. Improved hurricane forecasts, more extensive evacuations, and other improvements make hurricanes less lethal, reducing the full cost of living on hurricane-prone coasts, and should paradoxically increase damages. We confirm this prediction by analyzing land-falling hurricanes in the mainland United States between 1940 and 1999. We first estimate a time-varying measure of hurricane lethality and then show that this measure significantly affects damages in hurricane-prone coastal areas.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:2:y:2005:p:422-432
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9859-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Lazzaroni, Sara & van Bergeijk, Peter A.G., 2014. "Natural disasters' impact, factors of resilience and development: A meta-analysis of the macroeconomic literature," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 333-346.
    3. Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2009. "The Economics of Natural Disasters: A Survey," Research Department Publications 4649, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. 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.
    5. Eduardo Cavallo & Andrew Powell & Oscar Becerra, 2010. "Estimating the Direct Economic Damages of the Earthquake in Haiti," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages 298-312, August.
    6. Meri Davlasheridze & Qin Fan, 2017. "Household Adjustments to Hurricane Katrina," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 47(1), pages 92-112, Winter.
    7. Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2010. "The Aftermath of Natural Disasters: Beyond Destruction," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 25-35, July.
    8. -, 2010. "The economics of climate change in Central America: summary 2010," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 35229, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    9. Jeffrey Czajkowski & Kevin Simmons & Daniel Sutter, 2011. "An analysis of coastal and inland fatalities in landfalling US hurricanes," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 59(3), pages 1513-1531, December.
    10. Hyun Kim & David Marcouiller, 2015. "Considering disaster vulnerability and resiliency: the case of hurricane effects on tourism-based economies," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(3), pages 945-971, May.
    11. Kellenberg, Derek K. & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, 2008. "Does rising income increase or decrease damage risk from natural disasters?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 788-802, May.
    12. Sutter Daniel & Ewing Bradley T., 2016. "State of Knowledge of Economic Value of Current and Improved Hurricane Forecasts," Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 45-64, June.
    13. Davlasheridze, Meri & Fisher-Vanden, Karen & Allen Klaiber, H., 2017. "The effects of adaptation measures on hurricane induced property losses: Which FEMA investments have the highest returns?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 93-114.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q27 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Issues in International Trade

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