Catastrophic natural disasters and economic growth

Eduardo Cavallo, Sebastian Galiani, Ilan Noy, Juan Pantano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

426 Scopus citations


We examine the average causal impact of catastrophic natural disasters on economic growth by combining information from comparative case studies. For each country affected by a large disaster, we compute the counterfactual by constructing synthetic controls. We find that only extremely large disasters have a negative effect on output in both the short and the long runs. However, we also show that this results from two events where radical political revolutions followed the disasters. Once we control for these political changes, even extremely large disasters do not display any significant effect on economic growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1549-1561
Number of pages13
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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