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Aggregate Impacts of Natural and Man-made Disasters: A quantitative comparison

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  • SAWADA Yasuyuki
  • Rima BHATTCHARYAY
  • KOTERA Tomoaki

Abstract

In recent decades, the world has faced an increasing number of natural and man-made disasters. Such disasters include tsunamis, earthquakes, the current ongoing financial crisis, terrorism, riots, and wars. These disasters generate tremendous social and economic costs, especially for the poor in low income economies. This paper assesses and compares the impacts of various natural and man-made disasters quantitatively. We carefully construct cross-country panel data of 189 countries within the range between 1968 to 2001 on a wide variety of natural disasters such as hydro-meteorological, geophysical, climatological, technological and biological disasters as well as man-made disasters such as economic crises, civil conflicts and wars. The paper employs this unique panel dataset to estimate econometric models which enable us to quantify and compare the impacts of different natural and man-made disasters on welfare as captured by per capita consumption. According to our estimation results, in the short term, natural disasters generate the largest negative welfare impacts which are followed by wars and economic disasters. Intriguingly, in the long term, natural disasters and wars have positive impacts on per capita GDP growth. Wars affect large economies more than small economies while natural disasters affect small economies disproportionately.

Suggested Citation

  • SAWADA Yasuyuki & Rima BHATTCHARYAY & KOTERA Tomoaki, 2011. "Aggregate Impacts of Natural and Man-made Disasters: A quantitative comparison," Discussion papers 11023, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:11023
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    File URL: https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/11e023.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sung Jin Kang & Yasuyuki Sawada, 2008. "Credit Crunch And Household Welfare, The Case Of The Korean Financial Crisis," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 438-458.
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    3. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2005. "Lasting local impacts of an economywide crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3503, The World Bank.
    4. Stéphane Hallegatte & Valentin Przyluski, 2010. "The Economics of Natural Disasters," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 14-24, July.
    5. Peter R. Fallon & Robert E. B. Lucas, 2002. "The Impact of Financial Crises on Labor Markets, Household Incomes, and Poverty: A Review of Evidence," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, pages 21-45.
    6. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
    7. Robert J. Barro, 2009. "Rare Disasters, Asset Prices, and Welfare Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 243-264, March.
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    9. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2002. "Do Natural Disasters Promote Long-Run Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 664-687, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kurosaki, Takashi, 2012. "Household-level Recovery after Floods in a Developing Country: Evidence from Pakistan," CEI Working Paper Series 2012-08, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Kurosaki, Takashi, 2017. "Household-Level Recovery after Floods in a Tribal and Conflict-Ridden Society," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 51-63.
    3. Kurosaki, Takashi, 2013. "Vulnerability of Household Consumption to Floods and Droughts in Developing Countries: Evidence from Pakistan," CEI Working Paper Series 2012-10, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Sawada, Yasuyuki & Takasaki, Yoshito, 2017. "Natural Disaster, Poverty, and Development: An Introduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 2-15.
    5. Wenzel, Lars & Wolf, André, 2013. "Protection against major catastrophes: An economic perspective," HWWI Research Papers 137, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    6. AKAO Ken-Ichi & SAKAMOTO Hiroaki, 2013. "A Theory of Disasters and Long-run Growth," Discussion papers 13061, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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