Natural Disasters, Coping Strategies and Labour Market - Evidence from the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti

Claire Zanuso

Décembre 2015

Université Paris-Dauphine

Sous la direction de Javier Herrera

Frequency and intensity of natural and environmental disasters are on the rise worldwide. Up to 325 million extremely poor people will be living in the 49 most hazard-prone countries in 2030. Haiti proudly claims to the distinction of being the only nation whose slave population defeated a colonial power to become free and the second-oldest republic in the Western Hemisphere, yet persists as the poorest country in Latin America and Caribbean region one of the poorest and weakly governed countries in the world. Output of both an extensive fieldwork and academic research, the present thesis attempts to shed some light on the situation in Haiti after the devastating earthquake, offering four insights on the interlinkages between natural disaster, labour market and coping strategies. The introductive chapter draws the general motivation and some background information common of the four essays of this doctoral work. The first chapter presents the most up-to-date diagnosis of the labour market situation in Haiti almost 3 years after the earthquake (2012) and provide whenever possible a comparison with the situation prevailing 3 years before (2007), with a specific focus on youth. This descriptive analysis offers an overview of the general economic trends. In the following three chapters, we explore in depth the microeconomic foundations and implications of channels at play. Chapter 2 analyses the impact of earthquake on the households’ decision on children’s time allocation. In chapter 3, we investigate interlinkages between transfers and labour supply in the aftermath of the earthquake. Finally, chapter 4 takes the analysis of the impact of the earthquake a step forward by using longitudinal data and focuses on the long-lasting impact of the 2010 earthquake on population’s livelihoods.