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Natural Disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Overview of Risk


  • Céline Charvériat


This paper integrates information from both economics and the physical sciences to survey the effects of natural disasters in the region. A first section surveys the human and economic impact of natural disasters in the region at both the household and aggregate levels, noting both the geographical distribution of disaster risk and its long-term implications for development. A second section reviews types of disasters prevalent in the region, and future disaster risks, as well as the socio-economic sources of vulnerability to disasters resulting from development and migration patterns. A third section discusses risk management strategies at the household and community level, with public policy options and proposals for emergency response and finding an appropriate mix of local, national and market-based solutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Céline Charvériat, 2000. "Natural Disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Overview of Risk," Research Department Publications 4233, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4233

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jan G. Laarman, 1995. "Government Policies Affecting Forests in Latin America: An Agenda for Discussion," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 25498, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Orazio P. Attanasio & Miguel Székely, 1999. "An Asset-Based Approach to the Analysis of Poverty in Latin America," Research Department Publications 3075, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Robert E. B. Lucas, 1998. "Internal Migration and Urbanization: Recent Contributions and New Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 91, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    4. James W. Mjelde & Harvey S.J. Hill & John F. Griffiths, 1998. "A Review of Current Evidence on Climate Forecasts and Their Economic Effects in Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1089-1095.
    5. Geoff Bright, 1999. "Assessing the Effects of Hazards and Interventions on Farm Household Liquidity in Sudan - A Preliminary Accounting Model," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 83-92.
    6. Kinsey, Bill & Burger, Kees & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1998. "Coping with drought in Zimbabwe: Survey evidence on responses of rural households to risk," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-110, January.
    7. Colin F. Camerer & Howard Kunreuther, 1989. "Decision processes for low probability events: Policy implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 565-592.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tobias N. Rasmussen, 2004. "Macroeconomic Implications of Natural Disasters in the Caribbean," IMF Working Papers 04/224, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Diego Arias & Katia Covarrubias, 2006. "Agricultural Insurance in Mesoamerica: An Opportunity to Deepen Rural Financial Markets," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 36538, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. Lopez-Calva, Luis Felipe & Ortiz-Juarez, Eduardo, 2009. "Evidence and Policy Lessons on the Links between Disaster Risk and Poverty in Latin America," MPRA Paper 18342, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hochrainer, Stefan, 2009. "Assessing the macroeconomic impacts of natural disasters : are there any ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4968, The World Bank.
    5. Mechler, Reinhard, 2009. "Disasters and economic welfare : can national savings help explain post-disaster changes in consumption ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4988, The World Bank.

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