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Climate and environmental economic measures for damage prevention

This Research deals with an empirical analysis of climate and environmental economic measures of damage prevention. In cooperation with the Helmholtz centre for environmental research (UFZ), a rich data set from the Swiss cantonal property insurance sector is available. With it, not only the interdependency of amounts of natural hazard damage and damage frequency can be analyzed, separated by types of damage such as flood, fire, avalanche or storm as well as premiums and prevention expenditures, but also the direction of causality in this field can be evaluated.
The analysis methodology developed in this context can also be applied to other areas. A cooperation with the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (Greifswald) is in the process of being initiated. Research is being carried out there into the economics of animal diseases: What are the economic and social costs, in the aftermath, of an epidemic such as BSE or bluetongue? Vaccinations against epidemics are a preventive measure in this sense: Vaccinations cost something to start with, but they reduce the probability of damage occurring. Do measures of this kind have an effect? Are they cost-efficient? Is the causal direction of action the one suspected of a-priori?
In future, the success of the Environmental Liability Act of 1991 will be put to the test. It is to be empirically investigated whether the law has helped to prevent or reduce damage since its introduction, or whether the law has remained ineffective. It is also considered whether the law has had a lasting impact on the industrial insurance sector, since damage of the kind that is affected by the Environmental Liability Act can very well be insured.

Research assistant: Dr. Carsten Croonenbroeck