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Behavioral Responses to Natural Disasters

  • Marco Castillo


    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

  • Michael Carter


    (Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California - Davis)

Catastrophic events can dramatically alter existing social and economic relationships. The consequences can be long-lasting and give rise to heterogeneity of behavior across populations. We investigate the impact of a large negative shock on altruism, trust and reciprocity in 30 small Honduran communities diversely affected by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. We conduct a survey of communities and behavioral experiments three and four years after the event. We find that the mean and variance of behavior are nonlinearly related to the severity of the weather shock affecting the community. Also, there is a substitution away from formal local organizations to informal arrangements.

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Paper provided by George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science in its series Working Papers with number 1026.

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Length: 31
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1026
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  1. David Reiley & John List, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Götte, Lorenz & Huffman, David B. & Meier, Stephan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," IZA Discussion Papers 2020, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Maarten J. Voors & Eleonora E. M. Nillesen & Philip Verwimp & Erwin H. Bulte & Robert Lensink & Daan P. Van Soest, 2012. "Violent Conflict and Behavior: A Field Experiment in Burundi," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 941-64, April.
  4. Morris, Saul S. & Neidecker-Gonzales, Oscar & Carletto, Calogero & Munguia, Marcial & Medina, Juan Manuel & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Hurricane Mitch and the Livelihoods of the Rural Poor in Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 49-60, January.
  5. Eckel, Catherine C. & El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Wilson, Rick K., 2009. "Risk loving after the storm: A Bayesian-Network study of Hurricane Katrina evacuees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 110-124, February.
  6. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  7. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
  8. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
  9. Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
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