In the Aftermath of Large Natural Disasters, what happens to foreign aid?
We examine Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the aftermath of large natural disasters in developing countries between 1970 and 2008. We find that while ODA increases significantly compared to pre-disaster flows, the typical surges are small in relation to the size of the affected economies or the estimated economic damages. Moreover, we find that the size of the surges is related to the catastrophic nature of the event itself and the lack of other resources available to the affected countries. However, we do not find robust evidence that political affinity between donors and affected countries, and common geo-strategic interests, matter for the allocation of post disaster aid.
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