Exploring Differential Vulnerability by Population Structure and Education: Impacts of 2010 Floods and Droughts on Rural Livelihoods in Thailand

Alessandra Garbero, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Raya Muttarak, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

Climatic events can have disastrous consequences on rural livelihoods where economic activities mainly rely on agriculture and natural resources. The impacts of the natural disasters however are not distributed evenly. They vary considerably with demographic and socio-economic characteristics of a given area. Based on the Thai government surveys of living conditions and life quality for the years 2009 and 2011, this paper investigates the impacts of floods and droughts in 2010 on economic outcomes at in 2011 the district level. We focus on analyzing how differential population composition and education could reduce or increase economic vulnerability to natural disasters. As expected, we find negative impacts of floods and droughts on livelihoods as measured by income, savings and expenditures on food and non-food consumption. Districts with higher proportion of people with at least secondary level education significantly exhibit lower economic losses. Education thus may have an important role in reducing vulnerability.

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Presented in Session 193: Responses to Environmental Shocks