Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Jerry R. Skees

Second Advisor

Dr. Mario J. Miranda


This dissertation explores the implications of natural disaster risk for access to financial services, especially credit. Its results show that disasters can dramatically undermine the ability of financial intermediaries (FIs) to lend after an event, increasing the cost of the disaster and delaying recovery. Moreover, the risk of natural disasters discourages investment in vulnerable regions and economic sectors and so slows economic development. Financial risk transfer mechanisms such as insurance can help maintain lending following an event. While many international development projects have targeted disaster insurance markets to households, managing disaster-related credit risk may be done more effectively through insurance products for FIs. Additionally, prudential supervision and the credit risk rating methods of investors in developing and emerging economies are dominated by developed country standards that overlook natural disaster risks. Public and private interests align in the need to tailor such standards and so enhance the effectiveness with which vulnerable FIs manage disaster risk.