Tsunamis, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods are a constant threat to society. Where in the past the population at risk had to react on the consequences of disasters, at present society wants to be more in control. Due to the high costs of restoration, of the stress and of the loss of family and friends, a proactive policy in order to prevent disasters or at least to minimize the impact is required. Such a policy asks for a framework to decide on the risk society wants to take. Moreover, it is mandatory to agree on the way instruments preventing disasters are evaluated on their effectiveness. This special issue accounts for the contributions on the methodology of damage estimation by leading European and American economists. Introduces the subject and presents an overview of all papers.
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