Disasters aren’t always bad
The earthquake that struck China’s Sichuan province in May left behind scenes of almost apocalyptic devastation; cities reduced to rubble and dust & at least 80,000 dead. However, if the Chinese government is to be believed, the quake also did something else. It helped the country’s economy, says a report in The Boston Globe.
A Chinese research body announced last week that the massive rebuilding effort and the billions of dollars it would pump into the Chinese economy would far outweigh the economic losses from the quake, enough to boost up national economic growth by 0.3% in fact, some economists argue that hurricanes, quakes, floods, volcanic eruptions & the like, despite the widespread destruction, they leave behind indeed, largely because of it can spur economic growth.
“When something is destroyed you don’t necessarily rebuild the same thing that you had. You might use the updated technology, you might do things more efficiently. It bumps you up,” says Mare Skidmore, an economics professor. Studies have found that earthquakes in California and Alaska helped stir economic activity there and that countries with more hemicranias and storms tend to see higher rates of growth. Some of the most recent work has found a link between disasters & subsequent innovation.