Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type





Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Ronald A. Fleming

Second Advisor

Eric Scorsone


Natural disasters have potentially large economic impacts on developing nations. Thereis a small, but growing literature analyzing these impacts on variables such as gross domesticproduct. In this study Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, andNicaragua are studied to measure the impact that disasters have had on economic growth overthe past twenty-nine years (1970-1998). The development indicator, gross domestic product(GDP) growth rate, will be measured over the twenty-nine year study period and analyzed withrespect to correlation with natural disasters. Regression analysis is used to investigate therelationship between natural disasters and economic growth.It is hypothesized that the number of natural disasters that a country faces has a negativeimpact on economic growth rate as measured by GDP. As the quantity of disasters experiencedin any given year increases the overall disruption of the economy is predicted to be greater, thusleading to lower levels of economic growth in the short term.