Risk-taking behavior in the wake of natural disasters

Lisa Ann Cameron, Manisha Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

317 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate whether experiencing a natural disaster affects risk- taking behavior. We conduct standard risk games (using real money) with randomly selected individuals in rural Indonesia. We fi nd that individuals who recently suffered a fl ood or earthquake exhibit more risk- aversion. Experiencing a natural disaster causes people to perceive that they now face a greater risk of a future disaster. We conclude that this change in perception of background risk causes people to take fewer risks. We provide evidence that experimental risk behavior is correlated with real- life risk behavior, highlighting the importance of our results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484 - 515
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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