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Flooded cities

Kocornik-Mina, Adriana, McDermott, Thomas K.J., Michaels, Guy ORCID: 0000-0002-8796-4536 and Rauch, Ferdinand (2020) Flooded cities. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 12 (2). 35 - 66. ISSN 1945-7782

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Identification Number: 10.1257/app.20170066


Does economic activity move away from areas that are at high risk of recurring shocks? We examine this question in the context of floods, which displaced more than 650 million people worldwide in the last 35 years. We study large urban floods using spatially detailed inundation maps and night lights data spanning the globe's cities. We find that low-elevation urban areas are flooded more frequently, and yet they concentrate more economic activity per square kilometer. When cities are flooded, low-elevation areas recover as rapidly as those higher up. With the exception of recently populated urban areas, we find little permanent movement of economic activity in response to floods.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 American Economic Association
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R11 - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, and Changes
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R5 - Regional Government Analysis > R58 - Regional Development Policy
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:25

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