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Aid, Catastrophes and the Samaritan's Dilemma


Economica / NEW SERIES

Published online on


This paper analyses the impact of past foreign aid on the recipient country's preparedness against natural disasters. We estimate the impact of past foreign aid on the occurrence of natural disasters and the death toll from disasters using data from 5089 major natural disasters in 81 developing countries between 1979 and 2012. The results suggest that past foreign aid flows crowd out the recipient's incentives to provide protective measures that decrease the likelihood and the societal impact of a disaster. The crowding‐out effect appears to be stronger in developing countries that are relatively poorer and have weaker political institutions.