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The wrath of God : macroeconomic costs of natural disasters

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  • Raddatz, Claudio

Abstract

The process of global climate change has been associated with an increase in the frequency of climatic disasters. Yet, there is still little systematic evidence on the macroeconomic costs of these episodes. This paper uses panel time-series techniques to estimate the short and long-run impact of climatic and other disasters on a country's GDP. The results indicate that a climate related disaster reduces real GDP per capita by at least 0.6 percent. Therefore, the increased incidence of these disasters during recent decades entails important macroeconomic costs. Among climatic disasters, droughts have the largest average impact, with cumulative losses of 1 percent of GDP per capita. Across groups of countries, small states are more vulnerable than other countries to windstorms, but exhibit a similar response to other types of disasters; and low-income countries responds more strongly to climatic disasters, mainly because of their higher response to droughts. However, a country's level of external debt has no relation to the output impact of any type of disaster. The evidence also indicates that, historically, aid flows have done little to attenuate the output consequences of climatic disasters.

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  • Raddatz, Claudio, 2009. "The wrath of God : macroeconomic costs of natural disasters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5039, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5039
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Ercio Muñoz S. & Alfredo Pistelli M., 2010. "¿Tienen los Terremotos un Impacto Inflacionario en el Corto Plazo? Evidencia para una Muestra de Países," Notas de Investigación Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 13(2), pages 113-127, April.
    3. Ilan Noy & Christopher Edmonds, 2016. "The Economic and Fiscal Burdens of Disasters in the Pacific," CESifo Working Paper Series 6237, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2009. "The Economics of Natural Disasters: A Survey," Research Department Publications 4649, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Zeb Aurangzeb & Thanasis Stengos, 2012. "Economic Policies and the Impact of Natural Disasters on Economic Growth: A Threshold Regression Approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 229-241.
    6. Vasco M. CARVALHO & NIREI Makoto & SAITO Yukiko, 2014. "Supply Chain Disruptions: Evidence from the Great East Japan Earthquake," Discussion papers 14035, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. 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.
    8. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Gröschl, Jasmin, 2014. "Naturally negative: The growth effects of natural disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 92-106.
    9. Stéphane Hallegatte, 2012. "Modeling the roles of heterogeneity, substitution, and inventories in the assessment of natural disaster economic costs," Post-Print hal-00802050, HAL.
    10. 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.
    11. Sebastian Poledna & Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler & Michael Gregor Miess & Peter Klimek & Stefan Schmelzer & Johannes Sorger & Elena Shchekinova & Elena Rovenskaya & JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer & Ulf Dieckman, 2018. "When does a disaster become a systemic event? Estimating indirect economic losses from natural disasters," Papers 1801.09740, arXiv.org.
    12. Christian Volpe Martincus & Juan S. Blyde, 2012. "Shaky Roads and Trembling Exports: Assessing the Trade Effects of Domestic Infrastructure Using a Natural Experiment," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4650, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. 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.
    14. Noy, Ilan, 2015. "Natural disasters and climate change in the Pacific island countries: New non-monetary measurements of impacts," Working Paper Series 4200, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    15. Volpe Martincus, Christian & Blyde, Juan, 2013. "Shaky roads and trembling exports: Assessing the trade effects of domestic infrastructure using a natural experiment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 148-161.
    16. 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.
    17. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2013. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," NBER Working Papers 19578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Keywords

    Natural Disasters; Disaster Management; Hazard Risk Management; Adaptation to Climate Change; Pollution Management&Control;

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