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Coping With Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2001

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  • Dean Yang

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

How well do countries cope with the aftermath of natural disasters? In particular, how well do international financial flows buffer economic losses from disasters? This paper focuses on hurricanes (one of the most common and destructive types of disasters), and examines the impact of hurricane damages on resource flows to affected countries. Due to the potential endogeneity of disaster damage, I exploit instrumental variables constructed from meteorological data on hurricanes. Instrumental variables estimates indicate that disaster damages lead to increases in national-level net inflows of migrants’ remittances, foreign lending, and foreign direct investment. These types of flows respond rapidly, within the first year after damages. Official development assistance (ODA) also responds positively to hurricane damage, but with a lag of roughly two years. On average, total inflows from these sources within the following four years amount to roughly four-fifths of estimated damages. The null hypothesis of full insurance of hurricane disaster damages cannot be rejected. By contrast, ordinary least squares estimates find essentially no response of international flows to disaster damages, highlighting the importance of an instrumental variables approach in this context.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Yang, 2005. "Coping With Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2001," Working Papers 534, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:534
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    File URL: http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers526-550/r534.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Berlemann, Michael, 2016. "Does hurricane risk affect individual well-being? Empirical evidence on the indirect effects of natural disasters," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 99-113.
    2. Jeffrey Frankel, 2011. "Are Bilateral Remittances Countercyclical?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Dorothee Crayen & Christa Hainz & Christiane Ströh de Martínez, 2011. "Zur Versicherungsfunktion von Rücküberweisungen von Migranten: Eine Untersuchung in Südafrika," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 64(10), pages 17-21, May.
    4. Ramcharan, Rodney, 2007. "Does the exchange rate regime matter for real shocks? Evidence from windstorms and earthquakes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 31-47, September.
    5. Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2010. "The Aftermath of Natural Disasters: Beyond Destruction," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 25-35, July.
    6. Ratha, Dilip & Mohapatra, Sanket & Scheja, Elina, 2011. "Impact of migration on economic and social development : a review of evidence and emerging issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5558, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    risk-sharing; insurance; official development assistance; foreign aid; remittances; foreign direct investment; international lending; natural disasters; hurricanes;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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