Measuring the intensity of hazards and their impact

Published on September 29, 2022   27 min
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Prof. Sanders: My name is Mark Sanders. I'm a Professor of International Economics at Maastricht University, and together with my PhD student Vincent Schippers at Utrecht University, we've done a research project where the objective was to measure the economic impacts of natural hazards at the local level.
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And in that literature, when we came to that field, what we found was a lot of studies that were studying this phenomenon of natural hazards using national level data and data on catastrophes from catastrophe databases like EM-DAT and NatCat. The problem with that literature at that time, the damage records from reinsurers and being collected from news and agencies, the usefulness of that data is limited because it has the problem that it has better coverage in high-income countries. It has a lot of small events and it's collected often at the wrong spatial scale. But a more important problem is that these damages are obviously correlated with, for example, the level of income in a region before it is hit. The damages from natural hazards are not exogenous and so it's really important if you want to study the impact of natural events on the economy that we have local data so at a local scale, because these events are typically local events and that we have the information on the intensity of these natural events. This is kind of the starting point of our research project and therefore, Vincent, what have we done to try and tackle these problems?
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Measuring the intensity of hazards and their impact

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