Abstract

Using a dataset on reported loss and damage from flood-affected Indian states between 1953 and 2011, this paper inquires whether development makes states become flood resilient. Although the disaster-specific and the generic adaptation measures have been largely researched, there are limited empirical studies, particularly those that conducted an analysis at the sub-national level and used a dataset of more than 50 years. Considering human development and different loss and damage indicators is another advantage. Employing zero-inflated negative binomial and fixed effects models, this study produces three major findings. First, an increasing trend is observed for the reported loss and damage indicators across the states. Second, both human development and income are mostly found as statistically insignificant, indicating that the states are not becoming flood-resilient with respect to the present development. Third, there is a lack of evidence of learning effect, however, disaster risk management programme mitigates risk. Therefore, the paper suggests that the ongoing development strategies must take into account climate risk and address the persistent adaptation deficit. These findings could have larger policy implications since Indian states are likely to encounter such events frequently, and they also provide inputs to several states' action plans on climate change.

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