Adaptation and Natural Disasters: Evidence from Global Tropical Cyclone Damages and Fatalities
12:00 - 13:00
Natural disasters currently cause an average of $98.9 billion dollars of damages and impact 227.5 million people annually. What role does adaptation play in these impacts? The paper answers this question with evidence from tropical cyclones. The paper begins with a theoretical treatment of adaptation. Separate damage and fatality functions per storm are estimated using a new and improved global data set. The empirical results test for and find evidence of adaptation in observed damages and fatalities due to growth in income, population density, and frequent high intensity storms. There is also evidence of maladaptation with respect to frequent low intensity storms and to damages in the United States.