IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/19534.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters

Author

Listed:
  • Lisa Cameron
  • Manisha Shah

Abstract

We investigate whether experiencing a natural disaster affects risk-taking behavior. We conduct standard risk games (using real money) with randomly selected individuals in rural Indonesia. We find that individuals who recently suffered a flood or earthquake exhibit more risk aversion. Experiencing a natural disaster causes people to perceive that they now face a greater risk of a future disaster. We conclude that this change in perception of background risk causes people to take fewer risks. We provide evidence that experimental risk behavior is correlated with real life risk behavior, highlighting the importance of our results.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Cameron & Manisha Shah, 2013. "Risk-Taking Behavior in the Wake of Natural Disasters," NBER Working Papers 19534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19534
    Note: DEV EEE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19534.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yang Dean, 2008. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-45, June.
    2. J. Behrman & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), 1995. "Handbook of Development Economics," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 4.
    3. anonymous, 2010. "Focus on Authors," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(1), pages 191-194, 01-02.
    4. Hans P. Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes Toward Risk: Experimental Measurement in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 62(3), pages 395-407.
    5. van den Berg, Marrit & Fort, Ricardo & Burger, Kees, 2009. "Natural Hazards And Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence From Latin America," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51394, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-1026, June.
    7. Noy, Ilan, 2009. "The macroeconomic consequences of disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 221-231, March.
    8. Rachel Croson & James Sundali, 2005. "The Gambler’s Fallacy and the Hot Hand: Empirical Data from Casinos," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 195-209, May.
    9. Finlay, Jocelyn E., 2009. "Fertility response to natural disasters : the case of three high mortality earthquakes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4883, The World Bank.
    10. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2008. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1109-1150, December.
    11. Christina Paxson & Cecilia Rouse, 2008. "Returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," Working Papers 1052, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    12. Halliday, Timothy, 2006. "Migration, Risk, and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 893-925, July.
    13. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    14. Abigail Barr & Garance Genicot, 2008. "Risk Sharing, Commitment, and Information: An Experimental Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1151-1185, December.
    15. anonymous, 2010. "Focus on Authors," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(5), pages 958-961, 09-10.
    16. Elaine M. Liu, 2013. "Time to Change What to Sow: Risk Preferences and Technology Adoption Decisions of Cotton Farmers in China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1386-1403, October.
    17. Kunreuther, Howard, 1996. "Mitigating Disaster Losses through Insurance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 12(2-3), pages 171-187, May.
    18. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
    19. Claus Portner, 2006. "Gone With the Wind? Hurricane Risk, Fertility and Education," Working Papers UWEC-2006-19-R, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2008.
    20. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Galiant & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2007. "The Formation of Beliefs: Evidence from the Allocation of Land Titles to Squatters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 209-241.
    21. Eckel, Catherine C. & El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Wilson, Rick K., 2009. "Risk loving after the storm: A Bayesian-Network study of Hurricane Katrina evacuees," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 110-124, February.
    22. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    23. repec:pri:cepsud:168rouse is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Yohannes, Yisehac & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2009. "Natural disasters, self-insurance and human capital investment : evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4910, The World Bank.
    25. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-918, October.
    26. anonymous, 2010. "Focus on Authors," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(2), pages 387-390, 03-04.
    27. J. Behrman & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), 1995. "Handbook of Development Economics," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    28. Christina Paxson & Cecilia Rouse, 2008. "Returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," Working Papers 1126, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    29. M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), 1997. "Handbook of Population and Family Economics," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    30. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
    31. anonymous, 2010. "Focus on Authors," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(4), pages 779-782, 07-08.
    32. Eeckhoudt, Louis & Gollier, Christian & Schlesinger, Harris, 1996. "Changes in Background Risk and Risk-Taking Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 683-689, May.
    33. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    34. repec:pri:cheawb:paxson_rouse_katrina_returns.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    35. repec:pri:cheawb:paxson_rouse_katrina_returns is not listed on IDEAS
    36. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-926, August.
    37. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Human resources: Empirical modeling of household and family decisions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1883-2023, Elsevier.
    38. John Quiggin, 2003. "Background risk in generalized expected utility theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 22(3), pages 607-611, October.
    39. Tahir Andrabi & Jishnu Das, 2017. "In Aid We Trust: Hearts and Minds and the Pakistan Earthquake of 2005," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 371-386, July.
    40. Baez, Javier E. & de la Fuente, Alejandro & Santos, Indhira, 2010. "Do Natural Disasters Affect Human Capital? An Assessment Based on Existing Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 5164, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    41. anonymous, 2010. "Focus on Authors," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(3), pages 580-584, 05-06.
    42. Laura Schechter, 2007. "Risk aversion and expected-utility theory: A calibration exercise," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 67-76, August.
    43. Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography, and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 271-284, May.
    44. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226740867 is not listed on IDEAS
    45. Christina Paxson & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2008. "Returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 38-42, May.
    46. Gollier, Christian & Pratt, John W, 1996. "Risk Vulnerability and the Tempering Effect of Background Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1109-1123, September.
    47. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 2000. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Background Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 1-26, January.
    48. repec:pri:indrel:dsp0173666450b is not listed on IDEAS
    49. Christina Paxson & Cecilia E. Rouse, 2008. "Returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," Working Papers 1043, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    50. Christina Paxson & Cecilia Rouse, 2008. "Returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," Working Papers 1052, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Said, Farah & Afzal, Uzma & Turner, Ginger, 2015. "Risk taking and risk learning after a rare event: Evidence from a field experiment in Pakistan," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 167-183.
    2. Farah Said & Uzma Afzal & Ginger Turner, 2014. "Attitudes Towards Risk in the Wake of a Rare Event: Evidence from Pakistan," CREB Working papers 2-2014, Centre for Research in Economics and Business, The Lahore School of Economics, revised 2014.
    3. Goytom Abraha Kahsay & Daniel Osberghaus, 2018. "Storm Damage and Risk Preferences: Panel Evidence from Germany," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 71(1), pages 301-318, September.
    4. Dang, Duc Anh, 2012. "On the sources of risk preferences in rural Vietnam," MPRA Paper 38738, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Hallegatte,Stephane & Bangalore,Mook & Jouanjean,Marie Agnes, 2016. "Higher losses and slower development in the absence of disaster risk management investments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7632, The World Bank.
    6. Dang, Duc Anh, 2012. "On the sources of risk preferences in rural Vietnam," MPRA Paper 38058, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Miao, Qing & Popp, David, 2014. "Necessity as the mother of invention: Innovative responses to natural disasters," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 280-295.
    8. Freudenreich, Hanna & Musshoff, Oliver & Wiercinski, Ben, 2017. "The Relationship between Farmers' Shock Experiences and their Uncertainty Preferences - Experimental Evidence from Mexico," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 256212, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    9. Aragón, Fernando M. & Molina, Oswaldo & Outes-León, Ingo W., 2020. "Property rights and risk aversion: Evidence from a titling program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    10. Anh Duc Dang, 2012. "On the Sources of Risk Preferences in Rural Vietnam," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2012-593, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    11. Kahsay, Goytom Abraha & Osberghaus, Daniel, 2016. "Extreme weather and risk preference: Panel evidence from Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-032, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    12. Page, Lionel & Savage, David A. & Torgler, Benno, 2014. "Variation in risk seeking behaviour following large losses: A natural experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 121-131.
    13. Victor Stephane, 2016. "How Do Natural Disasters Affect Saving Behavior?," Working Papers halshs-01409651, HAL.
    14. Galarza, Francisco, 2009. "Choices under Risk in Rural Peru," MPRA Paper 17708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Lionel Page & David Savage & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Variation in risk seeking behavior in a natural experiment on large losses induced by a natural disaster," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    16. Sawada, Yasuyuki & Takasaki, Yoshito, 2017. "Natural Disaster, Poverty, and Development: An Introduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 2-15.
    17. Arnaud Reynaud & Cécile Aubert, 2020. "Does flood experience modify risk preferences? Evidence from an artefactual field experiment in Vietnam," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 45(1), pages 36-74, March.
    18. Johar, Meliyanni & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Siminski, Peter & Stavrunova, Olena, 2022. "The economic impacts of direct natural disaster exposure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 196(C), pages 26-39.
    19. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2013. "Natural Disaster Impacts and Fiscal Decentralization," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(1), pages 101-117.
    20. Abatayo, Anna Lou & Lynham, John, 2020. "Risk preferences after a typhoon: An artefactual field experiment with fishers in the Philippines," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19534. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.