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CATalytic insurance : the case of natural disasters


  • Cordella, Tito
  • Yeyati, Eduardo Levy


Why should countries buy expensive catastrophe insurance? Abstracting from risk aversion or hedging motives, this paper shows that catastrophe insurance may have a catalytic role on external finance. Such effect is particularly strong in those middle-income countries that face financial constraints when hit by a shock or in its anticipation. Insurance makes defaults less appealing, relaxes countries'borrowing constraint, increases their creditworthiness, and enhances their access to capital markets. Catastrophe lending facilities providing"cheap"reconstruction funds in the aftermath of a natural disaster weaken but do not eliminate the demand for insurance.

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  • Cordella, Tito & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2010. "CATalytic insurance : the case of natural disasters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5377, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5377

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Daniel Cohen & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Growth and External Debt Under Risk of Debt Repudiation," NBER Chapters,in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 437-472 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dwight M. Jaffee & Thomas Russell, 1996. "Catastrophe Insurance, Capital Markets and Uninsurable Risks," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-12, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    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. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
    6. Froot, Kenneth A., 2001. "The market for catastrophe risk: a clinical examination," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 529-571, May.
    7. Paolo Mauro & Torbjorn I. Becker, 2006. "Output Drops and the Shocks That Matter," IMF Working Papers 06/172, International Monetary Fund.
    8. David J Hofman & Patricia A Brukoff, 2006. "Insuring Public Finances Against Natural Disasters; A Survey of Options and Recent Initiatives," IMF Working Papers 06/199, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Arrow, Kenneth J & Lind, Robert C, 1970. "Uncertainty and the Evaluation of Public Investment Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 364-378, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clarke,Daniel Jonathan & Wren-Lewis,Liam, 2016. "Solving commitment problems in disaster risk finance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7720, The World Bank.
    2. Daniel J. Clarke & Olivier Mahul & Richard Poulter & Tse-Ling Teh, 2017. "Evaluating Sovereign Disaster Risk Finance Strategies: A Framework," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 42(4), pages 565-584, October.

    More about this item


    Debt Markets; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress; Labor Policies; Emerging Markets; Financial Intermediation;

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