Nature, Socioeconomics and Adaptation to Natural Disasters: New Evidence from Floods

49 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Susana Ferreira

Susana Ferreira

University of Georgia

Kirk Hamilton

World Bank

Jeffrey R. Vincent

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS)

Date Written: June 1, 2011

Abstract

The authors analyze the determinants of fatalities in 2,194 large flood events in 108 countries between 1985 and 2008. Given that socioeconomic factors can affect mortality right in the aftermath of a flood, but also indirectly by influencing flood frequency and magnitude, they distinguish between direct and indirect effects of development on flood mortality. The authors find that income is negatively associated with the frequency of floods and, conditional on their magnitude, the fatalities they cause in developing countries. However, for developed countries they find that increased income is associated with more fatalities, both directly (conditional on flood occurrence and magnitude) and indirectly through an increase in the frequency and magnitude of flood events. Also in contrast to the literature, they find that the effect of governance on flood frequency and fatalities in developing countries is U-shaped, with improvements in governance reducing the numbers of floods and deaths when governance is weaker but raising them when governance is stronger.

Keywords: Hazard Risk Management, Natural Disasters, Governance Indicators, Disaster Management, Flood Control

Suggested Citation

Ferreira, Susana and Hamilton, Kirk and Vincent, Jeffrey R., Nature, Socioeconomics and Adaptation to Natural Disasters: New Evidence from Floods (June 1, 2011). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5725, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1876300

Susana Ferreira (Contact Author)

University of Georgia ( email )

Athens, GA 30602-6254
United States

Kirk Hamilton

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Jeffrey R. Vincent

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

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