With the shift from a hazard-centered disaster paradigm to one that places emphasis on vulnerability and resilience, disasters triggered by natural hazards have begun to be perceived as unnatural occurrences. To date, the theoretical conceptualization and empirical measures of vulnerability and resilience remain subjects of contentions. This survey of the empirical economic literature aims to describe the progress made in the conceptualization and measurement of the economic dimensions of vulnerability and resilience in the context of natural hazards, and to provide useful insights for policy-making. Economic vulnerability and economic resilience, interacting with the hazard itself, and the exposure of populations and physical assets, are considered to be critical determinants of the resulting impacts of disasters. The empirical evidence provides systematic support for the hypothesis that apart from the characteristics of the hazards, the potential for people and economies to avoid adverse impacts and their capacity to withstand and rebound from a disaster are influenced by a confluence of socio-economic factors.
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