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The Economic Impacts of Natural Disastersby Debarati Guha-sapir
Synopses & Reviews
Since the turn of the millennium, more than one million people have been killed and 2.3 billion others have been directly affected by natural disasters around the world. In cases like the 2010 Haiti earthquake or the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, these disasters have time and time again wrecked large populations and national infrastructures. While recognizing that improved rescue, evacuation, and disease control are crucial to reducing the effects of natural disasters, in the final analysis, poverty remains the main risk factor determining the long-term impact of natural hazards. Furthermore, natural disasters have themselves a tremendous impact on the poorest of the poor, who are often ill-prepared to deal with natural hazards and for whom a hurricane, an earthquake, or a drought can mean a permanent submersion in poverty.
The Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters focuses on these concerns for poverty and vulnerability. Written by a collection of esteemed scholars in disaster management and sustainable development, the report provides an overview of the general trends in natural disasters and their effects by focusing on a critical analysis of different methodologies used to assess the economic impact of natural disasters. Economic Impacts presents six national case studies (Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Nicaragua, Japan and the Netherlands) and shows how household surveys and country-level macroeconomic data can analyze and quantify the economic impact of disasters. The researchers within Economic Impacts have created path-breaking work and have opened new avenues for thinking and debate to push forward the frontiers of knowledge on economics of natural disasters.
Research on the economics of natural disasters has not kept up with the tremendous impacts of these phenomena on people's lives. However, large scale events such as Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami in Asia and the more recent 2008 hurricane in Myanmar and earthquake in Sichuan, China, have sparked new interest in the field. This book brings together the work of academic researchers and practitioners covering methodological aspects of measuring natural disasters as well as relevant macro and microeconomic theory and evidence, trying to put forward a research agenda and policy options for the next decade. The book has two parts. Part I first provides an overview of the general trends in natural disasters and their effects, and later focuses on a critical analysis of different methodologies to assess the economic impact of natural disasters, as well as on the ex-ante and ex-post mechanisms to deal with the effects of disasters and the relationship between extreme natural events and climate change. Part II covers six case studies from both the developed and the developing world, and from three different continents: Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Nicaragua, Japan and the Netherlands. Using both country-level data and household surveys, these case studies analyze and quantify the impact of natural hazards, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, among other types of disasters, on household welfare and macroeconomic performance.This is an indispensible volume for researchers, academics and policy professionals addressing the short and long term economic effects of natural disasters
About the Author
Debarati Guha-Sapir is Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) and Professor at University of Louvain School of Public Health, Brussels.
Indhira Santos is a member of The World Bank.
Alexandre Borde is the Managing Director of Carbonium, a climate change and carbon finance consulting company based in Paris, France.
Table of Contents
Foreword : Margareta Wahlstrom, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations
Chapter 1: The Frequency and Impact of Natural Disasters. Hoyois et al.
Chapter 2: The Inter-Linkages between Natural Disasters and Economic Development. Ajay Chhibber and Rachid Laajaj.
Chapter 3: The Impacts of Natural Disasters and the Economic Benefits of Preventing them: Methods and Applications. Ståle Navrud and Kristin Magnussen.
Chapter 4: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Disaster Risk Management and Climate Adaptation: the Case of Bangladesh. Reinhard Mechler and Nabiul Islam.
Chapter 5: Challenges Ahead: Risk Management and Cost-Benefit Analysis in a Changing Climate. Stéphane Hallegatte.
Chapter 6: Natural Disasters and the Insurance Industry. Angelika Wirtz.
Chapter 7: Natural Disaster Mitigation Policies. Ricardo Zapata-Marti.
Chapter 8: Natural Disasters in Vietnam: a Synthesis from a Socio-economic Perspective. Tran Huu Tuan and Bui Dung The.
Chapter 9: Natural Disaster Mitigation in West Bengal. Debesh Chakraborty et al.
Chapter 10: How do Households Manage the Effects of Natural Disasters? The Role of Inter-household Transfers in Nicaragua. Indhira Santos.
Chapter 11: The Economic Impact of Earthquakes on Households: Evidence from Japan. Yasuyuki Sawada.
Chapter 12: Urban and Non-agricultural Impacts of Flooding and their Assessments: the Case of Bangladesh. K.M. Nabiul Islam.
Chapter 13: The Economics of Flood Disaster Management in the Netherlands. Roy Brouwer and Marije Schaafsma.
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