The Opportunity of a Disaster: The Economic Impact of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake
By combining new archival and existing data, this paper provides estimates of the economic impact of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, the largest ever-recorded natural catastrophe in Europe. The direct cost of the earthquake is estimated to be between 32 and 48 percent of the Portuguese GDP. In spite of strict controls, prices and wages remained volatile in the years after the tragedy. The recovery from earthquake also led to a rise in the wage premium of construction workers. More significantly, the earthquake became an opportunity for economic reform and to reduce the economic semi-dependency vis-à-vis Britain.
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- Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2002. "Do Natural Disasters Promote Long-Run Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 664-687, October.
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