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Natural disasters and household welfare : evidence from Vietnam


  • Thomas, Timothy
  • Christiaensen, Luc
  • Do, Quy Toan
  • Trung, Le Dang


As natural disasters hit with increasing frequency, especially in coastal areas, it is imperative to better understand how much natural disasters affect economies and their people. This requires disaggregated measures of natural disasters that can be reliably linked to households, the first challenge this paper tackles. In particular, a methodology is illustrated to create natural disaster and hazard maps from first hand, geo-referenced meteorological data. In a second step, the repeated cross-sectional national living standard measurement surveys (2002, 2004, and 2006) from Vietnam are augmented with the natural disaster measures derived in the first phase, to estimate the welfare effects associated with natural disasters. The results indicate that short-run losses from natural disasters can be substantial, with riverine floods causing welfare losses of up to 23 percent and hurricanes reducing welfare by up to 52 percent inside cities with a population over 500,000. Households are better able to cope with the short-run effects of droughts, largely due to irrigation. There are also important long-run negative effects, in Vietnam mostly so for droughts, flash floods, and hurricanes. Geographical differentiation in the welfare effects across space and disaster appears partly linked to the functioning of the disaster relief system, which has so far largely eluded households in areas regularly affected by hurricane force winds.

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  • Thomas, Timothy & Christiaensen, Luc & Do, Quy Toan & Trung, Le Dang, 2010. "Natural disasters and household welfare : evidence from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5491, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5491

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Sánchez Torres & Silvia L. Calderón Díaz, 2015. "Pobreza y Desastres Naturales en Colombia, 1970-2011: Una Aproximación desde los Municipios y los Hogares," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 012853, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:65-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Hill, Ruth Vargas & Porter, Catherine, 2017. "Vulnerability to Drought and Food Price Shocks: Evidence from Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 65-77.
    5. Karim, Azreen, 2016. "The household response to persistent natural disasters: Evidence from Bangladesh," Working Paper Series 4968, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    6. Vu, Tam Bang & Noy, Ilan, 2013. "Natural disasters and firms in Vietnam," Working Paper Series 3063, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    7. Arouri, Mohamed & Nguyen, Cuong & Youssef, Adel Ben, 2015. "Natural Disasters, Household Welfare, and Resilience: Evidence from Rural Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 59-77.
    8. Karim, Azreen & Noy, Ilan, 2014. "Poverty and natural disasters: A meta-analysis," Working Paper Series 3234, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    9. Noy, Ilan & Patel, Pooja, 2014. "Floods and spillovers: Households after the 2011 great flood in Thailand," Working Paper Series 3609, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    10. Chandra Bahinipati & Unmesh Patnaik, 2015. "The damages from climatic extremes in India: do disaster-specific and generic adaptation measures matter?," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(1), pages 157-177, January.
    11. Ayala Wineman & Nicole M. Mason & Justus Ochieng & Lilian Kirimi, 2017. "Weather extremes and household welfare in rural Kenya," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 9(2), pages 281-300, April.
    12. Dacuycuy, Connie B., 2017. "Energy Consumption, Weather Variability, and Gender in the Philippines: A Discrete/Continuous Approach," Discussion Papers DP 2017-06, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    13. Dacuycuy, Connie B., 2016. "Weather Events and Welfare in the Philippine Households," Discussion Papers DP 2016-34, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    14. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja & Conroy, Hector V., 2011. "The impacts of climate variability on welfare in rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5555, The World Bank.
    15. repec:dau:papers:123456789/14371 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Menéndez, Marta & Gignoux, Jérémie, 2014. "Short and long run effects of earthquakes on farm businesses in Indonesia," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182721, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    17. Lazzaroni, S. & Bedi, A.S., 2014. "Weather variability and food consumption," ISS Working Papers - General Series 51272, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    18. Fabio Sánchez Torres & Silvia Calderón Díaz, 2015. "Caracterización de y Vulnerabilidad a los Desastres Naturales en Colombia, 1970-2011," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 012850, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    19. Lohmann, Steffen & Lechtenfeld, Tobias, 2015. "The Effect of Drought on Health Outcomes and Health Expenditures in Rural Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 432-448.
    20. Dacuycuy, Connie B., 2016. "Weather Events and Welfare in the Philippine Households," Research Paper Series DP 2016-34, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    21. World Bank, 2012. "The Welfare Effects of Extreme Weather Events : Insights from Three APEC Case Studies," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13039, The World Bank.
    22. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:40-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Tran, Van Q., 2015. "Household's coping strategies and recoveries from shocks in Vietnam," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 15-29.

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    Natural Disasters; Hazard Risk Management; Disaster Management; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Adaptation to Climate Change;

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