Is Tomorrow Another Day? Coping with an Environmental Disaster: Evidence from Vietnam
Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Taylor-Hibbard Seminar Room (Rm103)
3:45 pm-5:00 pm
We examine the coping mechanisms of fishermen to a large-scale environmental disaster in 2016, when toxic industrial waste contaminated the marine ecosystem of Vietnam's central coast. Combining labor force surveys with a novel satellite data of boat detection, we find significant negative effects on fishing activities and fishermen's income. The labor-market effects and subsequent fishermen's responses are heterogeneous by locations. Upstream fishermen could travel to safer fishing grounds. Downstream fishermen, instead, endured severe impact and were more likely to quit fishing or have secondary jobs. Saltwater fishermen in the neighboring unaffected provinces and freshwater fishermen benefited from the incident.