Human Capital and Disaster Vulnerability: Exploring the Mechanisms in a Household Life Cycle Model

Roman Hoffmann
Michael Freiberger, Vienna University of Technology
Alexia F├╝rnkranz-Prskawetz, Vienna University of Technology

In many parts of the world, increasing numbers of natural disasters and worsening climatic conditions impose severe threats to local populations. Poor households in low and middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable, not only because of their greater exposure, but also because they lack resources to take precautionary measures and to cope with shocks to their livelihoods. Recent empirical evidence suggests an important role of education in raising household resilience. Yet, we still lack a sound theoretical understanding why and how education can have a positive impact. To this end, this study develops a household life cycle model, which explicitly accounts for and quantitatively models different (direct and indirect) education effects. The predictions of the model are empirically tested using original data from the Philippines and Thailand. In a final step, the empirical estimates are used to parametrize the model and to run simulations and policy experiments for selected country cases.

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 Presented in Session 163. Innovative Application of Demographic Theory to Population-Environment Research