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Natural Disasters and Education

Author

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  • Anousheh Alamir
  • Tillmann Heidelk

Abstract

It is well established that natural disasters can have a negative effect on human capital accumulation. However, a comparison of the differential impacts of distinct disaster classes is missing. Using census data and information from DesInventar and EMDAT, two large disaster databases, this paper assesses how geological disasters and climatic shocks affect the upper secondary degree attainment of adolescents. The paper focuses on Mexico, given its diverse disaster landscape and lack of obligatory upper secondary education over the observed time period. While all disaster types are found to impede attainment, climatic disasters that are not infrastructure-destructive (e.g. droughts) have the strongest negative effect, decreasing educational expansion by over 40%. The effects seem largely driven by demand-side changes such as increases in school dropouts and fertility, especially for young women. The results may also be influenced by deteriorated parental labor market outcomes. Supply-side effects appear to be solely driven by infrastructure-destructive climatic shocks (e.g. floods). These findings thus call for differential public measures according to specific disaster types and an enhanced attention to climatic events given their potentially stronger impact on younger generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Anousheh Alamir & Tillmann Heidelk, 2020. "Natural Disasters and Education," Working Papers ECARES 2020-05, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/303233
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Local labor markets; Natural disasters; Climate change; Urbanization; Educational attainment; Degree completion; Teen pregnancies; Individual preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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