Economic development and losses due to natural disasters: the role of risk
We show that the relationship between wealth and economic losses due to natural disasters is strongly linked to disaster risk. We first build an analytical model that demonstrates how countries that face a low hazard of disasters are likely to see first increasing losses and then decreasing ones with increasing economic development. At the same time, countries that face a high hazard of disasters are likely to experience first decreasing losses and then increasing ones with increasing economic development. We then use a cross country panel dataset in conjunction with a risk exposure index to investigate whether the data is consistent with the predictions from the model. As suggested by our model, we generally find an inverse ushaped link between losses and wealth for low and medium hazard countries, but a u-shaped relationship for high hazard countries.
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