The impact of preemptive investment on natural disasters

Jhorland Ayala-García, Sandy Dall'Erba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies the impact of preemptive investment against natural disasters on the future occurrence of landslides and the losses associated with it. Based on a panel of 746 Colombian municipalities with medium and high risk of landslides and an instrumental variable approach, we find that preemptive public investment can reduce the number of landslides, the number of people who die, are injured, or missing after a landslide, as well as the number of people affected. However, we do not find it has any effect on the number of houses destroyed. The results reveal that local governments focus their preventive measures on saving the lives and the physical integrity of their citizens, but they pay less attention to the direct market losses of natural disasters. These results are relevant in the presence of imperfect private insurance markets and increased informal settlements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1087-1103
Number of pages17
JournalPapers in Regional Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • disaster risk reduction
  • landslides
  • natural disasters
  • preemptive investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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