1:00pm Room A - Data Challenges and Opportunities in Natural Disaster Economics and Policy

Natural disasters lead to devastating losses to humans. A lack of high quality data is a challenge to crafting effective adaptation strategies and policy responses. Using examples from my own research, I describe common economic and policy data challenges as well as some paths forward to fill some of the data gaps.

Dr. Laura A. Bakkensen

Associate Professor
Director of MPA and MPP Programs
School of Government & Public Policy
University of Arizona


Dr. Laura A. Bakkensen is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Government and Public Policy. She utilizes applied microeconomic and econometric techniques to study the economics of natural disasters, identifying current hazard risks and evidence of adaptation to damages and fatalities across the globe. Her research informs policy on insurance regulation, post-disaster aid, severe weather warnings, and public adaptation projects. Dr. Bakkensen received her Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from Yale University. She was previously a visiting researcher at the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change in Venice, Italy and received a Fulbright Teaching Grant to South Korea. In 2017, she was awarded a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellowship.