How Resilient are Labour Markets to Natural Disasters? The Case of the 1998 Bangladesh Flood
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Natural disasters devastate economies as they impede capital accumulation. The resilience of labour markets is crucial for the poor who rely on labour to reduce risk. We evaluate how the 1998 'flood of the century' affected wages in Bangladesh. We find short-term declines in agricultural and non-agricultural wages. Agricultural workers who moved towards non-agricultural employment to cope benefitted through a lower percentage reduction in short-term wages. Endowed with human capital, salaried workers were unable to mitigate income risk. Extending the eligibility of credit access or relief programmes may preserve local businesses and their employees in the years following a flood.
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