Natural Disasters and Household Welfare: Evidence from Vietnam

57 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Timothy Thomas

Timothy Thomas

A member of the CGIAR Consortium - International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Luc Christiaensen

World Bank

Quy-Toan Do

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Le Dang Trung

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 1, 2010

Abstract

As natural disasters hit with increasing frequency, especially in coastal areas, it is imperative to better understand how much natural disasters affect economies and their people. This requires disaggregated measures of natural disasters that can be reliably linked to households, the first challenge this paper tackles. In particular, a methodology is illustrated to create natural disaster and hazard maps from first hand, geo-referenced meteorological data. In a second step, the repeated cross-sectional national living standard measurement surveys (2002, 2004, and 2006) from Vietnam are augmented with the natural disaster measures derived in the first phase, to estimate the welfare effects associated with natural disasters. The results indicate that short-run losses from natural disasters can be substantial, with riverine floods causing welfare losses of up to 23 percent and hurricanes reducing welfare by up to 52 percent inside cities with a population over 500,000. Households are better able to cope with the short-run effects of droughts, largely due to irrigation. There are also important long-run negative effects, in Vietnam mostly so for droughts, flash floods, and hurricanes. Geographical differentiation in the welfare effects across space and disaster appears partly linked to the functioning of the disaster relief system, which has so far largely eluded households in areas regularly affected by hurricane force winds.

Keywords: Natural Disasters, Hazard Risk Management, Disaster Management, Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases, Adaptation to Climate Change

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Timothy and Christiaensen, Luc and Do, Quy Toan and Trung, Le Dang, Natural Disasters and Household Welfare: Evidence from Vietnam (December 1, 2010). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5491. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1719948

Timothy Thomas

A member of the CGIAR Consortium - International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Luc Christiaensen

World Bank ( email )

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

Quy Toan Do

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Le Dang Trung

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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