Economic and Planning Approaches to Natural Disasters

Yasuhide Okuyama and Stephanie E. Chang

in The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195380620
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Economic and Planning Approaches to Natural Disasters

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  • Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics


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This article addresses the persistent problem of natural disasters and considers how economic analysis and planning can contribute toward disaster risk reduction. Giving examples of hurricane Katrina, and the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, it provides an overview of the natural disasters problem and social science research in the area, giving global trends and disaster trends since the last century. It then introduces economic approaches to the disasters problem followed by planning approaches. Urbanization agglomerates social functions (both public and private sectors), as well as physical and human capital, in particular areas. If a severe natural hazard hits one of these areas, it could lead to a catastrophic disaster with extremely sizable economic damages. While this discussion focuses on the developed country context, a synopsis of related work in the developing country context is also provided in detail. Finally, the article identifies research gaps and argues for greater integration across planning and economic perspectives.

Keywords: natural disasters; economic analysis; planning; risk reduction; urbanization; economic damages

Article.  10337 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

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