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Death Caused By Natural Disasters: The Role Of Ethnic Heterogeneity

  • Eiji Yamamura

Kahn (2005) found that ethnic heterogeneity reduces the number of deaths caused by natural disasters, a finding that is contrary to theoretical predictions. This paper casts doubt on this finding and uses cross-country data from 1965 to 2008 to conduct a re-estimation. To alleviate omitted variable bias, a legal origin dummy and additional economic variables are incorporated as independent variables. Further, to control for measurement problems, I have included an ethnic fractionalization index and an ethnic polarization index to capture ethnic heterogeneity. The key finding is that ethnic polarization is positively related to number of deaths, while ethnic fractionalization is not. This implies that ethnic polarization increases the level of damage caused by natural disasters, and is a more appropriate measure for ethnic heterogeneity than ethnic fractionalization.

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File URL: http://www.eeri.eu/documents/wp/EERI_RP_2011_10.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI_RP_2011_10.

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Date of creation: 10 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2011_10
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  1. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
  2. Nejat Anbarci & Monica Escaleras & Charles A. Register, 2004. "Earthquake fatalities: the interaction of nature and political economy," Working Papers 0415, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  3. Oguzhan C. Dincer, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity And Trust," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 284-293, 04.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Yunyong Thaicharoen, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," NBER Working Papers 9124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Monica Escaleras & Nejat Anbarci & Charles Register, 2007. "Public sector corruption and major earthquakes: A potentially deadly interaction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 209-230, July.
  6. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
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