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Title: Economic impact of natural disasters
Author: Keerthiratne, Wendala Gamaralalage Subhani Sulochana
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 9138
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis which consists of three empirical papers examines the economic impact of natural disasters. The first paper estimates the impact of natural disasters on financial development proxied by private credit. Employing a panel fixed effects estimator on a country-level panel data set covering 147 countries for the period from 1979 to 2011, it finds that companies and households get deeper into debt after a natural disaster in the short run. This effect is stronger in poorer countries whilst the effect is weaker in countries where agriculture is more important. In the long run, capital markets appear to improve. Findings are robust to alternative estimators, specifications, samples and data. The second paper explores the impact of natural disasters on the concentration of charitable receipts, again using country-level panel data. This analysis uses disaster indices purely based on physical intensities of natural disasters, thus overcome common issue of endogeneity in disaster data. In the short run, disasters expand the number of categories under which countries receive foreign aid and reduce the dependence on a single donor. Disasters reduce the concentration of the aid portfolio of recipient countries as measured by Herfindahl-Hirschman index. Findings are robust across alternative estimators. The study presents evidence of long term effects, too. The third paper studies the relationship between natural disasters and income inequality in Sri Lanka as the first study of this nature for the country. It constructs regional inequality indices from micro data for Sri Lanka. Natural disasters do not affect expenditure inequality, but reduce income inequality. Natural disasters decrease non-seasonal agricultural and non-agricultural income inequality but increase seasonal agricultural income inequality. Income of richer households is mainly derived from non-agricultural sources such as manufacturing and business activities and non-seasonal agricultural activities. Poorer households have a comparatively higher share of seasonal agricultural income.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GB5000 Natural disasters ; HB0848 Demography. Population. Vital events