Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Reduction of future disaster damages by learning from disaster experiences

Onuma, Hiroki and Shin, Kong Joo and Managi, Shunsuke (2016): Reduction of future disaster damages by learning from disaster experiences. Forthcoming in: Natural Hazards


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This paper examines the effect of a country’s own past disaster experiences and nearby countries’ past experiences on subsequent disaster damage. We use global disaster data from 1990-2010, which include disaster-related death tolls for both natural and technological disasters, that are further divided into sub-categories. Overall, we find evidence of a reduction effect of past disaster damage on future disaster damage. More detailed analyses show that an adaptation effect seems to be present for certain combinations of disaster types and levels of economic development. The results show that a country’s own experiences reduce future damage for natural disasters but that the marginal effect is larger for lower-income countries. On the other hand, for technological disasters, a robust impact was found only for higher-income countries. In terms of the disaster experiences of nearby countries, which is defined by countries in the same continent, an adaptation effect was found only for natural disasters, and the marginal impact was higher for higher-income countries.

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