Abstract Title

Natural Disaster and Assets Recovery: Empirical Evidence from Nepal’s Earthquake

Description

More than half a decade has elapsed since Nepal’s earthquake in 2015. Several anecdotes document the damage of productive assets of rural households in earthquake affected areas. This study primarily evaluates the recovery situation of productive assets of the rural households and the effectiveness of assets protection strategies they resorted during the recovery process. The study also documents the impact of earthquake on the households’ productive assets. An attempt is to construct quasi-panel data by resurveying 50 percent of rural primary sampling units (9 districts, 34 PSUs & 680 households) surveyed in Nepal earthquake data collected by Central Department of Population studies at Tribhuvan University during November and December of 2015. The study uses seismic activity of earthquake at village level as a source of identification and utilizes difference-in-difference framework for assessing the effectiveness of assets protection strategies. Preliminary estimates based on cross-section segment of the household survey data show that the areas struck with high intensity earthquake experienced increased losses in the value of productive assets with significant losses of crops, cattle, and poultry. I also observed strong pattern of assets convergence; in other words, low-wealth households pre- earthquake are following a convergent accumulation process implying that their assets are growing rapidly toward the equilibrium level. Finally, in terms of assets protection strategies, I find that aid/relief and migration/remittances as effective strategies for partial recovery while political network helped households recover completely. The findings of the study is expected to help formulate evidence based national, regional and local policies to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. It also highlights the importance of providing aid to poorer households with low assets holding pre-earthquake.

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Dec 4th, 12:00 AM

Natural Disaster and Assets Recovery: Empirical Evidence from Nepal’s Earthquake

More than half a decade has elapsed since Nepal’s earthquake in 2015. Several anecdotes document the damage of productive assets of rural households in earthquake affected areas. This study primarily evaluates the recovery situation of productive assets of the rural households and the effectiveness of assets protection strategies they resorted during the recovery process. The study also documents the impact of earthquake on the households’ productive assets. An attempt is to construct quasi-panel data by resurveying 50 percent of rural primary sampling units (9 districts, 34 PSUs & 680 households) surveyed in Nepal earthquake data collected by Central Department of Population studies at Tribhuvan University during November and December of 2015. The study uses seismic activity of earthquake at village level as a source of identification and utilizes difference-in-difference framework for assessing the effectiveness of assets protection strategies. Preliminary estimates based on cross-section segment of the household survey data show that the areas struck with high intensity earthquake experienced increased losses in the value of productive assets with significant losses of crops, cattle, and poultry. I also observed strong pattern of assets convergence; in other words, low-wealth households pre- earthquake are following a convergent accumulation process implying that their assets are growing rapidly toward the equilibrium level. Finally, in terms of assets protection strategies, I find that aid/relief and migration/remittances as effective strategies for partial recovery while political network helped households recover completely. The findings of the study is expected to help formulate evidence based national, regional and local policies to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. It also highlights the importance of providing aid to poorer households with low assets holding pre-earthquake.