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Catastrophic Natural Disasters and Economic Growth

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  • Eduardo Cavallo

    ()

  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Ilan Noy
  • Juan Pantano

Abstract

This paper examines the short and long-run average causal impact of catastrophic natural disasters on economic growth by combining information from comparative case studies. The counterfactual of the cases studied is assessed by constructing synthetic control groups, taking advantage of the fact that the timing of large sudden natural disasters is an exogenous event. It is found that only extremely large disasters have a negative effect on output, both in the short and long run. However, this result appears in two events where radical political revolutions followed the natural disasters. Once these political changes are controlled for, even extremely large disasters do not display any significant effect on economic growth. It is also found that smaller, but still very large natural disasters, have no discernible effect on output.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduardo Cavallo & Sebastian Galiani & Ilan Noy & Juan Pantano, 2010. "Catastrophic Natural Disasters and Economic Growth," Research Department Publications 4671, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4671
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural Disasters; Political Change; Economic Growth and Causal Effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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