The Choice of Coping Strategies and Post-Disaster Recovery: Evidence from Post-Earthquake Nepal

Veeshan Rayamajhee, Doctoral Student, Economics

Description

In the aftermath of natural disaster shocks, households adopt a specific set of coping strategies to overcome post-disaster challenges. Using the incident of 2015 mega-earthquake in Nepal as a natural experimental set up, we conduct a retrospective survey among 510 households in the Basbari village of Nepal. The objectives of this study are twofold: first, to gauge what specific coping strategies households adopt in the face of such covariate shocks, and second, to identify effective strategies that lead to swifter recovery. From the observational component of our analysis, we find that mobilization of short-term loans (personal and institutional), temporary migration, and external assistance are among the most common strategies adopted. Subsequently, we categorize all strategies into three broader bins: sale of durable and non-durable assets (jewelry, appliances, crops, livestock, agricultural tools), mobilization of credit (personal and institutional) and dissaving, and labor adjustments (advance labor, more members in labor force, child labor). Doing so allows us to investigate the impact of the choice of a specific coping strategy set on recovery rates. Because such choices are inherently endogenous, we use two-stage regression methods to account for potential intertwinements. We further investigate the role of coping strategy diversification in enhancing resilience among post-disaster households. We find strong evidence to suggest that households that adopt a diverse set of coping mechanisms relative to those that adopt only one set of strategies have higher post-disaster recovery rates.

 
Nov 8th, 1:30 PM Nov 8th, 5:30 PM

The Choice of Coping Strategies and Post-Disaster Recovery: Evidence from Post-Earthquake Nepal

In the aftermath of natural disaster shocks, households adopt a specific set of coping strategies to overcome post-disaster challenges. Using the incident of 2015 mega-earthquake in Nepal as a natural experimental set up, we conduct a retrospective survey among 510 households in the Basbari village of Nepal. The objectives of this study are twofold: first, to gauge what specific coping strategies households adopt in the face of such covariate shocks, and second, to identify effective strategies that lead to swifter recovery. From the observational component of our analysis, we find that mobilization of short-term loans (personal and institutional), temporary migration, and external assistance are among the most common strategies adopted. Subsequently, we categorize all strategies into three broader bins: sale of durable and non-durable assets (jewelry, appliances, crops, livestock, agricultural tools), mobilization of credit (personal and institutional) and dissaving, and labor adjustments (advance labor, more members in labor force, child labor). Doing so allows us to investigate the impact of the choice of a specific coping strategy set on recovery rates. Because such choices are inherently endogenous, we use two-stage regression methods to account for potential intertwinements. We further investigate the role of coping strategy diversification in enhancing resilience among post-disaster households. We find strong evidence to suggest that households that adopt a diverse set of coping mechanisms relative to those that adopt only one set of strategies have higher post-disaster recovery rates.