This article examines the connection between household poverty and natural disasters in Chile using a multidimensional analysis of poverty. Rather than using household income as a single poverty indicator, we implement a multidimensional poverty index, which measures poverty in four dimensions: work and social security, housing, health and education. This study helps reduce the limited knowledge of the impact of the 2010 earthquake and tsunami on household poverty in Chile, separating those events as different but related shocks. Using data from the National Socioeconomic Survey, we applied a difference-in-difference methodology to estimate the effect of the earthquake and tsunami on multidimensional poverty for two population groups in the short- and long-term. The treatment group was fisher-households located in the areas affected by both shocks with at least one member working in the artisanal sector. The control group included the rest of the Chilean population. Results show that after both disasters, fishers have a greater lack in the “work and social security” dimension of poverty than the overall population in both the short- and long-term. They are less likely, though, to be poor in the housing dimension compared to non-fishers. Moreover, after the shocks, both groups decreased their likelihood to be poor in health in the short and long-term when controlling for territorial and time effects, whereas only the overall population was more likely to decrease in educational poverty. Some policy guidelines include: promoting faster labor capital-recovery, designing a participatory post-disaster strategy and preparing a well-established emergency response in high-risk localities.
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