Estimating the welfare loss to households from natural disasters in…

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Global Health Action
Global Health Action is free from all access barriers, allowing for the widest possible global dissemination of your work, leading to more citations. In 2008, the journal was accessed by readers from 110 countries and territories. Published under the Creative Commons.

Background: Natural disasters have severe impacts on the health and well-being of affected households. However, we find evidence that official damage cost assessments for floods and other natural disasters in Vietnam, where households have little or no insurance, clearly underestimate the total economic damage costs of these events as they do not include the welfare loss from mortality, morbidity and reduced well-being experienced by the households affected by the floods. This should send a message to the local communities and national authorities that higher investments in flood alleviation, reduction and adaptive measures can be justified since the social benefits of these measures in terms of avoided damage costs are higher than previously thought. Methods: We pioneer the use of the contingent valuation (CV) approach of willingness-to-contribute (WTC) labour to a flood prevention program, as a measure of the welfare loss experienced by household due to a flooding event. In a face-to-face household survey of 706 households in the Quang Nam province in Central Vietnam, we applied this approach together with reported direct physical damage in order to shed light of the welfare loss experienced by the households

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Estimating the welfare loss to households from natural disasters in…