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Publicado en: Tesis Magíster

Natural disasters, violence and crime: evidence from 2017 Chilean megafires

Marcela Arriagada Silva

Tesis, Magíster en Economía, IE-PUC, 2018

Abstract: We investigate whether individuals’ behavior change in the aftermath of a natural disaster: the 2017 Chilean megafi res. Exploiting geographical variation in the intensive and extensive margin of fires in a municipality-level panel data setting, we estimate the impact of the mega fires on crime and domestic violence. Our estimates suggest that megafi res caused a substantial increase in domestic violence, whereas we fi nd no such statistical pattern in the case of violent crime and property crime. We fi nd suggestive evidence on the underlying mechanism for our reduced-form results: A negative shock on the income of people whose main source of revenue was related to agricultural and forestry activities, as well as a negative psychological shock that generates high levels of stress, altering individuals’ behavior.


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