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Eiji Yamamura
''The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography and Institutions: Comment.''
( 2012, Vol. 32 No.2 )
Kahn (2005) found that ethnic heterogeneity reduces the number of deaths caused by natural disasters, a finding that is contrary to theoretical predictions. This paper casts doubt on this finding and conducts a re-estimation. To control for measurement problems, I have used not only an ethnic fractionalization index but also an ethnic polarization index to capture ethnic heterogeneity. The key finding is that ethnic polarization is positively related to number of deaths, while ethnic fractionalization is not. This implies that ethnic polarization is a more appropriate measure for ethnic heterogeneity than ethnic fractionalization.
Keywords: Deaths, Natural disaster, Ethnic fractionalization, Ethic polarization, Legal origin, Institution.
JEL: Q5 - Environmental Economics: General
Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology: General
Manuscript Received : Nov 22 2011 Manuscript Accepted : May 23 2012

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