School of Economics and Finance Working paper: 03/2015:
The paper implements a novel way to aggregate the separate measures of disaster impact - the number of fatalities, of injuries, of people otherwise affected, and the financial damage that natural disasters cause - and apply it to two recent catastrophic events: the Christchurch (New Zealand) earthquakes and the Greater Bangkok (Thailand) floods of 2011.
This new measure, which is similar to the World Health Organization’s calculation of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) lost from the burden of diseases and injuries, is described in detail in Noy (2014). It allows us to conclude that New Zealand lost 180 thousand lifeyears as a result of the 2011 events, and Thailand lost 2,644 thousand years. In per capita terms, the loss is similar, with both countries losing about 15 days per person due to the 2011 catastrophic events in these two countries. We also compare these events to other potentially similar events.