Professor Ilan Noy and his team of researchers study the economics of disasters, including earthquakes, epidemics, droughts, and cyclones.
What makes a disaster?
The seriousness of a disaster depends on the combination of hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. A hazard might be a tropical cyclone. Exposure describes the people, assets, and ecosystems that are present when and where the cyclone occurs. And vulnerability reflects the ability of the cyclone to harm or damage whatever was exposed to it. For example, a cyclone becomes a disaster when it hits land if, and only if, there is infrastructure there that can be damaged by its force. The same is true for other hazards, like earthuquakes, drought, or epidemics.
What we research
Our research group studies the economic impact of disasters both in New Zealand and overseas. Some of the main areas of research focus include:
- measuring the short- and long-term impacts of disasters on communities and economies
- devising new tools for measuring the cost of disasters
- quantifying post-disaster emergency aid and fiscal needs
- developing risk transfer tools, and
- investigating and projecting shocks to different sectors of the economy, such as insurance, property, health, education, or agriculture.
Who we work with
The team's research is often multi-disciplinary and performed in collaboration with academics and practitioners in such fields as planning, geography, hydrology, and atmospheric physics. We work closely with other research initiatives in New Zealand, including:
- Resilience to Nature’s Challenges
- Deep South National Science Challenge
- New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute
- Whakahura - extreme events and the emergence of climate change
Ilan is the founding editor of Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, a journal launched in 2017 and published by Springer Nature.
Main research areas
Ilan's personal website includes more detail about his research.