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Political Economy of Large Natural Disasters : With Special Reference to Developing Countries - J. M. Albala-Bertrand

Political Economy of Large Natural Disasters

With Special Reference to Developing Countries

Hardcover Published: 25th March 1993
ISBN: 9780198287650
Number Of Pages: 272

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This book sets out to develop a new framework for the analysis and understanding of large natural disasters occurring in developing countries in the last three decades, and their effects on the economy and society. In doing so, it challenges many of the accepted wisdoms of disaster theory upon which policy prescriptions are built.
A number of important issues are addressed and analysed within this framework. The reliability of current statistics about disasters is questioned, and the effects of disaster situations on the main economic aggregates are examined. The author also looks at the importance of indirect disaster effects, the motivations of disaster response, and the impact of both capital loss and disaster response on output. He assesses the minimum level of additional investment required to secure a balanced recovery, and the extent to which a society's structure and dynamics determine people's vulnerability to disasters. Finally, the overall effects of disaster situations on economy and society are considered.
The author concludes that although disasters are primarily a problem of development, they are not necessarily a problem for development. What we should be looking at are the underlying social and economic processes within developing countries which structure the impact of natural disasters, rather than at disasters as unforeseen events requiring large scale intervention.
An important feature of the book is the deconstruction of the notion of disaster. Disasters, the author points out, cannot be analysed in isolation from the particular social and political setting in which they occur.

Industry Reviews

`The Political Economy of Large Natural Disasters is an impressive piece of work. It is a provocative, revisionist contribution to the study of the economics of disaster, a subject of coming importance ... required reading for officials and those associated with relief agencies ... the volume also offers material to social scientists anxious to apply public choice theory constructs to the analysis of policy formulation and application in developing societies.' Latin American Studies

List of Figures
List of Tables
Introductionp. 1
Analytical Frameworkp. 8
Natural Disastersp. 8
Disaster Situationp. 9
Disaster Impactp. 11
Disaster Responsesp. 20
Interferencep. 32
Disaster Statistics and Patternsp. 39
Data Sources: Institutional Problemsp. 39
Disaster Assessment: The Unreliability of Figuresp. 40
Global Patterns and Trendsp. 44
Sectoral Patterns of Direct Effectsp. 46
Patterns of Response Sourcesp. 51
Effects of Disaster Situations on Macroeconomic Variablesp. 56
A Sample of Disaster Situationsp. 56
Analysisp. 57
Methodologyp. 62
Main Performance Aggregatesp. 63
Investment and Sectoral Outputsp. 69
Public Financep. 77
Balance of Paymentsp. 79
Conclusionsp. 86
Vulnerabilityp. 90
Physical Vulnerability: Descriptionp. 91
Social Vulnerability: Processesp. 92
Overall Vulnerabilityp. 101
Conclusionsp. 102
Indirect Disaster Effects and In-built Responsesp. 104
Disarticulation of Household Conditionsp. 104
Disarticulation of the States of Health and Nutritionp. 106
Disarticulation of the Economic Circuitp. 112
Disarticulation of Public Activitiesp. 129
Disaster-Response Motivationsp. 141
Individual Relief Motivationp. 141
Public Motivationp. 151
International Motivationp. 153
Public and International Decision Processesp. 155
Final Effects on Output: A Simple Macromodelp. 161
Main Rules of Natural Disastersp. 162
Overall Effect of Capital Loss on Aggregate Outputp. 164
Overall Effect of Disaster Response on Aggregate Outputp. 170
Speed of Recoveryp. 173
UNDRO's 'ECLA Estimate'p. 175
Effects of Disaster Situations on Economy and Societyp. 182
A Record of Studies and Some Evidencep. 182
General Observations about Effectsp. 196
Conclusionsp. 202
Appendicesp. 206
Bibliographyp. 237
Glossaryp. 254
Indexp. 257
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198287650
ISBN-10: 0198287658
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 25th March 1993
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.61