by A. Dineros/CCAR in the Philippines
The CCARPH team welcomes Jesse Anttila-Hughes of the University of San Francisco in Areté for a lecture session on post-disaster economic and health effects of typhoons in the Philippines, a study he conducted with Solomon Hsiang.
Their study concludes that unearned income and excess infant mortality in the year after typhoon exposure outnumber immediate damages and death tolls.
He pointed out that typhoons destroy durable assets and depress incomes, leading to broad expenditure reductions achieved in part through disinvestments in health and human capital. These economic responses mirror infant mortality.
Their study reveals that only female infants are at risk, that sibling competition elevates risk, and that infants conceived after a typhoon are also at risk. Such findings indicate that the excess mortality results from household decisions made while coping with post-disaster economic conditions.
The findings suggest that economic and human losses due to typhoons may be an order of magnitude larger than previously thought and that adaptive decision-making may amplify disasters’ social cost.