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Catastrophic Natural Disasters and Economic Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Eduardo Cavallo

    (Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Sebastian Galiani

    (University of Maryland)

  • Ilan Noy

    (University of Hawaii and Victoria University of Wellington)

  • Juan Pantano

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

Abstract

We examine the average causal impact of catastrophic natural disasters on economic growth by combining information from comparative case studies. For each country affected by a large disaster, we compute the counterfactual by constructing synthetic controls. We find that only extremely large disasters have a negative effect on output in both the short and the long runs. However, we also show that this results from two events where radical political revolutions followed the disasters. Once we control for these political changes, even extremely large disasters do not display any significant effect on economic growth. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduardo Cavallo & Sebastian Galiani & Ilan Noy & Juan Pantano, 2013. "Catastrophic Natural Disasters and Economic Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1549-1561, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:5:p:1549-1561
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    natural disasters; political change; economic growth and causal effects;

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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