Working Papers

Foreign Aid in the Aftermath of Large Natural Disasters

AUTHOR(s): Becerra, Oscar , Cavallo, Eduardo A. , Noy, Ilan
PUBLISHED: August 2012
RELATED TOPICS: Macroeconomics


This paper examines Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the aftermath of large natural disasters between 1970 and 2008. Using an event-study approach, the paper finds that while the median increase in ODA is 18 percent compared to pre-disaster flows, the typical surge is small in relation to the size of the affected economies. Moreover, aid surges typically cover only 3 percent of the total estimated economic damages caused by the disasters. The main determinants of post-disaster aid surges are found to be the intensity of the event itself and the recipient country’s characteristics such as level of development, country size and stock of foreign reserves. The paper does not find evidence that political considerations or strategic behavior on the part of donors determine the size of post-disaster aid surges.

Related Research by JEL Codes:
(or click here to find research by JEL Codes)
  • Estimating the Direct Economic Damage of the Earthquake in Haiti
    Working Papers
    IDB-WP-163 - February 2010

    This paper uses simple regression techniques to make an initial assessment of the monetary damages caused by the January 12, 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti. Damages are estimated for a disaster with both 200,000 and 250,000 total dead and missing (i.e., the range of mortality that the earthquake is estimated to have caused) using Haiti’s economic and demographic data. The base estimate is US$8. ... (View publication)

  • Ideas for Development in the Americas, Volume 31: Climate and Development
    Newsletter / Journal
    IDB-NW-123 - September 2013

    This issue of IDEA covers some of the IDB’s recent research on climate change, including efforts on both the mitigation and adaptation fronts. That research includes both surprising findings and an underlying understanding that the region’s development must take into account -and will in many ways be shaped by- how it deals with this unique and inescapable issue. (View publication)

  • Ideas for Development in the Americas, Volume 3: Reform Fatigue
    Newsletter / Journal
    IDEA-03 - January 2004

    Latin America appears to be suffering from reform fatigue--but why? Is the public tired of waiting for reforms' long-promised benefits? Are policymakers scared of bearing the political costs? Are international experts less sure of their programs and prescriptions? The articles in the latest issue of IDEA examine the causes and symptoms of reform fatigue and discuss the prospects for the reform pro ... (View publication)

Hello, Welcome to the IDB!

Please join our mailing list by simply entering your email below.