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Death Caused By Natural Disasters: The Role Of Ethnic Heterogeneity

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  • Eiji Yamamura

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eiji Yamamura, 2011. "Death Caused By Natural Disasters: The Role Of Ethnic Heterogeneity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2011_10, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  • Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2011_10
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    File URL: http://www.eeri.eu/documents/wp/EERI_RP_2011_10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2003. "Institutional causes, macroeconomic symptoms: volatility, crises and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 49-123, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Oguzhan C. Dincer, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity And Trust," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 284-293, April.
    4. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
    5. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
    6. Anbarci, Nejat & Escaleras, Monica & Register, Charles A., 2005. "Earthquake fatalities: the interaction of nature and political economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1907-1933, September.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Ethnic heterogeneity and natural disasters
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-09-26 19:25:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Death tolls from natural disasters: Influence of interactions among fiscal decentralization, institutions and economic development," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2012_08, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    2. Li, C. & van Bergeijk, P.A.G., 2016. "Do natural disasters stimulate international trade?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 622, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deaths; Natural disaster; Ethnic fractionalization; Ethic polarization; Legal origin; Institution.;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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