Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Natural disasters and economic growth in Africa

Adjei-Mantey, Kwame and Adusah-Poku, Frank (2019): Natural disasters and economic growth in Africa.

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The continent of Africa has experienced its fair share of natural disasters historically and in contemporary times. The effect of natural disasters on economic growth has generated useful but inconclusive debates in the literature. Different studies have found positive, negative or no significant effects at all in some cases of disasters on growth. This makes the question of what impacts natural disasters have on an economy’s growth a purely empirical one and more meaningful to be examined on a case by case basis. Using panel data solely for the continent of Africa from 1980-2015, our regression results show a significant negative effect of natural disasters on economic growth, growth in agricultural value-added and growth in industrial value-added. Additionally, our results also show that disaster effect appears and persists in the post-year periods. The negative relationship between economic growth and disasters is also robust to different disaster measures. We recommend the need to invest in the modernization of the agricultural sector in Africa with the goal of withstanding the negative effects of natural disasters.

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