Research and publications

Assessing the cascading impacts of natural disasters in a multi-layer behavioral network framework

Natural disasters negatively impact regions and exacerbate socioeconomic vulnerabilities. While the direct impacts of natural disasters are well understood, the channels through ...

Author(s) :

Asjad Naqvi, Irene Monasterolo

Summary :

Natural disasters negatively impact regions and exacerbate socioeconomic vulnerabilities. While the direct impacts of natural disasters are well understood, the channels through which these shocks spread to non-affected regions, still represents an open research question. In this paper we propose modelling socioeconomic systems as spatially-explicit, multi-layer behavioral networks, where the interplay of supply-side production, and demand-side consumption decisions, can help us understand how climate shocks cascade. We apply this modelling framework to analyze the spatial-temporal evolution of vulnerability following a negative food-production shock in one part of an agriculture-dependent economy. Simulation results show that vulnerability is cyclical, and its distribution critically depends on the network density and distance from the epicenter of the shock. We also introduce a new multi-layer measure, the Vulnerability Rank (VRank), which synthesizes various location-level risks into a single index. This framework can help design policies, aimed to better understand, effectively respond, and build resilience to natural disasters. This is particularly important for poorer regions, where response time is critical and financial resources are limited.

Type : Academic Publication
Date : 22/10/2021
Editor : Nature