Modeling imbalanced economic recovery following a natural disaster using input-output analysis

Jun Li, Douglas Crawford-Brown, Mark Syddall, Dabo Guan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Input-output analysis is frequently used in studies of large-scale weather-related (e.g., Hurricanes and flooding) disruption of a regional economy. The economy after a sudden catastrophe shows a multitude of imbalances with respect to demand and production and may take months or years to recover. However, there is no consensus about how the economy recovers. This article presents a theoretical route map for imbalanced economic recovery called dynamic inequalities. Subsequently, it is applied to a hypothetical postdisaster economic scenario of flooding in London around the year 2020 to assess the influence of future shocks to a regional economy and suggest adaptation measures. Economic projections are produced by a macro econometric model and used as baseline conditions. The results suggest that London's economy would recover over approximately 70 months by applying a proportional rationing scheme under the assumption of initial 50% labor loss (with full recovery in six months), 40% initial loss to service sectors, and 10-30% initial loss to other sectors. The results also suggest that imbalance will be the norm during the postdisaster period of economic recovery even though balance may occur temporarily. Model sensitivity analysis suggests that a proportional rationing scheme may be an effective strategy to apply during postdisaster economic reconstruction, and that policies in transportation recovery and in health care are essential for effective postdisaster economic recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1908-1923
Number of pages16
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Disaster
  • Dynamic inequalities
  • Input-output analysis
  • London flooding
  • Rationing schemes

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