Mangroves for Coastal Protection: Evidence from Hurricanes in Central America

31 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2019 Last revised: 13 Nov 2019

See all articles by Alejandro del Valle

Alejandro del Valle

Georgia State University

Mathilda Eriksson

Umeå University - Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics

Oscar Anil Ishizawa Escudero

World Bank

Juan Jose Miranda

World Bank

Date Written: March 26, 2019

Abstract

This paper evaluates whether mangroves can mitigate the impact of hurricanes on economic activity. The paper assembles a new, regionwide panel data set that measures local economic activity using nightlights, potential hurricane damages using a detailed hurricane windstorm model, and mangrove protection by mapping the width of mangrove forests on the path to the coast. The results show that hurricanes have negative short-run effects on economic activity, with losses likely concentrated in coastal lowlands that are exposed to both wind and storm surge hazards. In these coastal lowlands, the estimates show that nightlights decrease by up to 24 percent in areas that are unprotected by mangroves. By comparison, the impact of the hurricanes observed in the sample is fully mitigated in areas protected by mangrove belts of one or more kilometers.

Keywords: Natural Disasters, Global Environment, Energy and Environment, Energy Demand, Energy and Mining

Suggested Citation

del Valle, Alejandro and Eriksson, Mathilda and Ishizawa Escudero, Oscar Anil and Miranda, Juan Jose, Mangroves for Coastal Protection: Evidence from Hurricanes in Central America (March 26, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8795, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3360712

Alejandro Del Valle

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Mathilda Eriksson

Umeå University - Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics ( email )

Umeå, S-901 87
Sweden

Oscar Anil Ishizawa Escudero

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Juan Jose Miranda (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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