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Research Projects

FY 2012/2013 Research Topic: B-1-08
The Socioeconomic Impact of Natural Disasters and Chronic Poverty: Natural Experiment Approach with Household Panel Data based on the Floods in North-West Bangladesh


People living in the river islands (locally known as Char) in Bangladesh are extremely vulnerable to periodic floods, as these low-lying temporary sand islands built through silt deposition are only a few inches above normal river water level. Though anticipated, the extent and severity of the flood depends on monsoon precipitation together with the glacier melt of the Himalayas. Impacts of periodic flood on the Char dwellers are systematically different than from the dwellers of inland regions due to many reasons. Firstly, Char is the most vulnerable area to floods and rising levels of river water compared to inland, causing frequent evacuation for the dwellers to nearby flood shelters. Secondly, periodic floods have a significant negative impact on migration. Thirdly, in most cases Char dwellers are routinely indebted to the landlords for borrowing money with high interest rates or in exchange for labor during when floods occur. Fourthly, due to the frequent erosion of soil and assets, people are expected to be discouraged in investing in long-term assets.
Using the exogenous variation of flood water levels, we hope to estimate the impact of periodic floods on the socioeconomic and migration conditions of the poor living on the Chars of Bangladesh.


April 2012 - February 2013

Members of the Research Project

[ Organizer ] SHONCHOY Abu
[ Co-researchers ] ITO Seiro



A typical Char in Bangladesh
A typical Char in Bangladesh
Boat is the only way of transportation
Boat is the only way of transportation
Erosion is very frequent and common
Erosion is very frequent and common