Saturday, February 27, 2010

Life Expectancy in the Rich Countries

Living in a rich country helps to reduce your chance of dying from a natural disaster. One of the many reason life expectancy tends to be higher in rich countries.
Using a new data set on annual deaths from disasters in 57 nations from 1980 to 2002, this paper tests several hypotheses concerning natural disaster mitigation. While richer nations do not experience fewer natural disaster events than poorer nations, richer nations do suffer less death from disaster. Economic development provides implicit insurance against nature’s shocks. Democracies and nations with higher quality institutions suffer less death from natural disaster. The results are relevant for judging the incidence of a Global Warming induced increase in the count of natural disaster shocks.

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