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Natural Disasters and Remittances: Exploring the Linkages between Poverty, Gender, and Disaster Vulnerability in Caribbean SIDS

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  • Attzs, Marlene

Abstract

This paper explores the linkages between poverty and disaster vulnerability in the context of remittance flows to households in the Caribbean. Jamaica is used as the case study country. The paper discusses the channels through which natural disasters and remittances affect each other but also reviews the distribution of female-headed households in Jamaica as a percentage of households living below the poverty line and seeks to identify whether flows of remittances alleviate the post-disaster living conditions of such households. The dislocation of households coupled with the loss of livelihoods caused by natural disaster, which usually affects the poor disproportionately, provides a push factor for migration and future remittances. After hurricane Gilbert in Jamaica (1988) there was an increase in migration. At the same time, there is an increased flow of remittances to help alleviate some of the suffering in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The paper concludes that given the increase in remittances to Jamaica, this flow of income could be used to smooth out the consumption patterns of already vulnerable, female-headed households living in poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Attzs, Marlene, 2008. "Natural Disasters and Remittances: Exploring the Linkages between Poverty, Gender, and Disaster Vulnerability in Caribbean SIDS," WIDER Working Paper Series 061, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-61
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    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/rp2008-61.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Morduch, Jonathan, 1994. "Poverty and Vulnerability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 221-225, May.
    3. HwaJung Choi, 2007. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 219-248, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Noy, Ilan & Karim, Azreen, 2013. "Poverty, inequality and natural disasters – A survey," Working Paper Series 2974, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    2. World Bank, 2012. "Gaining from Migration : Trends and Policy Lessons in the Greater Mekong Sub-region," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13248, The World Bank.
    3. Azreen Karim & Ilan Noy, 2016. "Poverty And Natural Disasters — A Qualitative Survey Of The Empirical Literature," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(01), pages 1-36, March.
    4. Sanket Mohapatra & George Joseph & Dilip Ratha, 2012. "Remittances and natural disasters: ex-post response and contribution to ex-ante preparedness," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 365-387, June.
    5. repec:taf:jdevst:v:54:y:2018:i:3:p:481-500 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Giulia Bettin & Alberto Zazzaro, 2018. "The Impact of Natural Disasters on Remittances to Low- and Middle-Income Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(3), pages 481-500, March.
    7. repec:spr:jenvss:v:8:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s13412-017-0456-3 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    natural disasters; remittances; economics of gender; Jamaica;

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