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date: 15 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article addresses the persistent problem of natural disasters and considers how economic analysis and planning can contribute toward disaster risk reduction. Giving examples of hurricane Katrina, and the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, it provides an overview of the natural disasters problem and social science research in the area, giving global trends and disaster trends since the last century. It then introduces economic approaches to the disasters problem followed by planning approaches. Urbanization agglomerates social functions (both public and private sectors), as well as physical and human capital, in particular areas. If a severe natural hazard hits one of these areas, it could lead to a catastrophic disaster with extremely sizable economic damages. While this discussion focuses on the developed country context, a synopsis of related work in the developing country context is also provided in detail. Finally, the article identifies research gaps and argues for greater integration across planning and economic perspectives.

Keywords: natural disasters, economic analysis, planning, risk reduction, urbanization, economic damages

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