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Assessing the macroeconomic impacts of natural disasters : are there any ?

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  • Hochrainer, Stefan

Abstract

There is an ongoing debate on whether disasters cause significant macroeconomic impacts and are truly a potential impediment to economic development. This paper aims to assess whether and by what mechanisms disasters have the potential to cause significant GDP impacts. The analysis first studies the counterfactual versus the observed gross domestic product. Second, the analysis assesses disaster impacts as a function of hazard, exposure of assets, and, importantly, vulnerability. In a medium-term analysis (up to 5 years after the disaster event), comparing counterfactual with observed gross domestic product, the authors find that natural disasters on average can lead to negative consequences. Although the negative effects may be small, they can become more pronounced depending mainly on the size of the shock. Furthermore, the authors test a large number of vulnerability predictors and find that greater aid and inflows of remittances reduce adverse macroeconomic consequences, and that direct losses appear most critical.

Suggested Citation

  • Hochrainer, Stefan, 2009. "Assessing the macroeconomic impacts of natural disasters : are there any ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4968, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4968
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Gulasekaran Rajaguru & Tilak Abeysinghe, 2004. "Quarterly real GDP estimates for China and ASEAN4 with a forecast evaluation," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 431-447.
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    6. 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.
    7. Jose Miguel Albala-Bertrand, 2006. "The Unlikeliness of an Economic Catastrophe: Localization & Globalization," Working Papers 576, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    8. Albala-Bertrand, J. M., 1993. "Political Economy of Large Natural Disasters: With Special Reference to Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287650.
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    Cited by:

    1. -, 2014. "Handbook for disaster assessment," Libros y Documentos Institucionales, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 36823 edited by Eclac, April.
    2. Bourdeau-Brien, Michael & Kryzanowski, Lawrence, 2017. "The impact of natural disasters on the stock returns and volatilities of local firms," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 259-270.
    3. Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2009. "The Economics of Natural Disasters - A Survey," Working Papers 200919, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    4. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Gröschl, Jasmin, 2014. "Naturally negative: The growth effects of natural disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 92-106.
    5. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ouattara, Bazoumana & Strobl, Eric, 2013. "The fiscal implications of hurricane strikes in the Caribbean," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 105-115.
    7. Bowen, Alex & Cochrane, Sarah & Fankhauser, Samuel, 2012. "Climate change, adaptation and economic growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 39939, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Rémi Generoso, 2012. "Transferts de fonds et résilience des pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest face à la variabilité des précipitations : une perspective macroéconomique," Working Papers hal-00830021, HAL.
    9. Rio Yonson & Ilan Noy, 2018. "Measurement of Economic Welfare Risk and Resilience of the Philippine Regions," CESifo Working Paper Series 6953, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Hideki Toya & Mark Skidmore, 2014. "Do Natural Disasters Enhance Societal Trust?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 255-279, May.
    11. Kirchberger, Martina, 2017. "Natural disasters and labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 40-58.
    12. Breckner, Miriam & Englmaier, Florian & Stowasser, Till & Sunde, Uwe, 2016. "Resilience to natural disasters Insurance penetration, institutions, and disaster types," Munich Reprints in Economics 43492, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    13. Kousky, Carolyn, 2014. "Informing climate adaptation: A review of the economic costs of natural disasters," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 576-592.
    14. Breckner, Miriam & Englmaier, Florian & Stowasser, Till & Sunde, Uwe, 2016. "Resilience to natural disasters — Insurance penetration, institutions, and disaster types," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 106-110.

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    Keywords

    Natural Disasters; Economic Theory&Research; Hazard Risk Management; Disaster Management; Currencies and Exchange Rates;

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