The Legacy of Natural Disasters: The Intergenerational Impact of 100 Years of Natural Disasters in Latin America

54 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2015  

Germán Caruso

World Bank; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 31, 2015

Abstract

Natural disasters can have long lasting effects, but generalizing such effects and disentangling them from the context where they happen can be challenging. Using information from the national censuses, this paper examines the long term effects and subsequent intergenerational transmission of exposure in childhood to the natural disasters that have occurred in Latin America in the last 100 years. The identification strategy exploits the exogenous variation in geographic location, timing and exposure of different birth cohorts to the natural disasters. This study measures individuals' exposure based on the geographic location at birth during the disasters to avoid any bias in the estimations due to the selective migration caused by each disaster. The main results indicate that young children are the most vulnerable to natural disasters and suffer the most long-lasting negative effects including less human capital accumulation, worse health, fewer income and less assets accumulation when they are adults. The data even provide evidence of the intergenerational transmission of shocks, showing that the second generation are negatively affected by the disasters in their human capital accumulation increasing their child labor long after their mothers were hit.

Keywords: Long term effects; Intergenerational transmission; Natural disasters

JEL Classification: D31, I00, J13

Suggested Citation

Caruso, Germán, The Legacy of Natural Disasters: The Intergenerational Impact of 100 Years of Natural Disasters in Latin America (January 31, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2560891 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2560891

German Caruso (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

410 David Kinley Hall
1407 W. Gregory
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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