The Heterogeneous Effects of Natural Disasters on Human Rights
19 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 6, 2017
We create a novel panel dataset of countries’ de facto human rights practices in four categories – basic human rights, civil & political rights, economic rights, and emancipatory rights. Next, we use this dataset to study the human rights consequences of natural disasters and find negative effects on emancipatory rights. There is no clear evidence for a negative effect on basic human rights or civil & political rights. In contrast, economic rights even appear to improve in the wake of a natural disaster. The timing of the effects differs across human rights dimensions, but we find no differences between high- and low-income countries or between autocratic and democratic regimes. Overall, our findings suggest that it is not only important to distinguish different dimensions of human rights, but also that comparing the effects of an event on different rights dimensions can be very insightful.
Keywords: Natural Disasters, Human Rights, Institutional Change, Repression
JEL Classification: D74, H12, J83, P48
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