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Government Repression and the Death Toll from Natural Disasters

40 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012  

Samia Costa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 23, 2012


Natural disasters have been a major cause of human suffering. Countries with higher income, lower inequality, lower corruption, and more democratic regimes have been found to experience less casualties from disasters. Government repression, however, could also play a role in disaster preparedness. In particular, I examine whether governments that are deemed to be human rights violators, which may not expect to receive assistance, experience lower casualties due perhaps to greater investment in disaster preparedness. I find an inverse U-shaped relationship between repression and casualties, with countries at either end of the distribution experiencing lower fatalities.

Keywords: natural disasters, government repression, disaster preparedness, human rights

JEL Classification: D70, H50, O00, F35

Suggested Citation

Costa, Samia, Government Repression and the Death Toll from Natural Disasters (January 23, 2012). CESifo Working Paper No. 3703. Available at SSRN:

Samia Costa (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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