Global climate models predict a rise in extreme weather in the next century. To better understand future interactions among adaptation costs, socioeconomic development, and climate change in developing countries, observed losses of life from floods and droughts during 1960–2003 are modeled using three determinants: weather events, income per capita, and female education. The analysis reveals countries with high female education weathered extreme weather events better than countries with equivalent income and weather conditions. In that case, one would expect resilience to increase with economic growth and improvements in education. The relationship between resilience in the face of extreme weather events and increases in female education expenditure holds when socioeconomic development continues but the climate does not change, and socioeconomic development continues with weather paths driven by “wet” and “dry” Global Climate Models. Educating young women may be one of the best climate change disaster prevention investments in addition to high social rates of return in overall sustainable development goals.

Author names: 
Blankespoor, Brian
Dasgupta, Susmita
Laplante, Benoit
Wheeler, David
The World Bank

Blankespoor, Brian; Dasgupta, Susmita; Laplante, Benoit; Wheeler, David, 2010: Adaptation to Climate Extremes in Developing Countries: The Role of Education. The World Bank, Policy Research Working Paper 5342.

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