Estimating the Direct Economic Damage of the Earthquake in Haiti

Research, Preprint OPEN
Eduardo A. Cavallo ; Andrew Powell ; Oscar Becerra (2010)
  • Publisher: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Washington, DC
  • Subject: Haiti | F35 | Natural disasters | aid and development | earthquake | Natural disasters, direct economic damages, Haiti, earthquake, reconstruction, aid and development | O11 | O54 | Q54 | O19 | Disasters, IDB-WP-163 | reconstruction | direct economic damages
    • jel: jel:F35 | jel:O19 | jel:Q54 | jel:O11 | jel:O54
      ddc: ddc:330

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$8.1bn for a death toll of 250,000, but for several reasons this may be a lower- bound estimate. An estimate of US$13.9bn for the same death toll is within statistical error. While the results are subject to many caveats, the implications of such an estimate are significant. Raising such a figure will require many donors—bilateral, multilateral and private. Hence excellent coordination of funding and execution will be the key to ensuring the efficient use of funds.
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