Christian Bommer, Axel Dreher, Marcello Pérez-Alvarez, 23 November 2019

International humanitarian aid plays an important role in the response to natural disasters. This column argues that political motives play a role in the allocation of aid. Focusing on the allocation of US humanitarian assistance, it shows that disasters that affect the birth regions of leaders of recipient countries receive substantially more funding than other comparable disasters. This suggests that there is a ‘home bias’ in humanitarian aid.

Yasuyuki Todo, Yuzuka Kashiwagi, Petr Matous, 19 November 2018

Global producers, service providers, and international financial institutions are becoming increasingly intertwined through expanding supply chains. This column uses new firm-level data on the impact of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 to examine how economic shocks are propagated by global supply chains. While the hurricane’s negative shock appeared to propagate among firms within the US, the shock does not seem to have spread internationally. The findings suggest that access to global opportunities and to alternative partners can be a source of resilience against disaster shocks for internationalised firms.

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