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The social and economic impacts of the Doce River disaster

Grant number: 22/04294-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics - Social Welfare Economics
Principal Investigator:André Portela Fernandes de Souza
Grantee:André Portela Fernandes de Souza
Host Investigator: Tiago Vanderlei de Vasconcelos Cavalcanti
Host Institution: Escola de Economia de São Paulo (EESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Cambridge, England  


This study aims to investigate the socioeconomic impacts of the collapse of a mine tailings dam that occurred in Brazil in 2015. It is the collpase of the Fundão dam, in the Germano Mining Complex, located in the municipality of Mariana, MG. It is considered one of the biggest technological disasters in the country and known as the Rio Doce disaster. The present study aims to evaluate the impacts of the disaster on the living conditions and well-being of families and the work history and labor income of individuals residing in the affected areas. In particular, it intends to: 1. carry out a diagnosis of the current socioeconomic situation of the population in the region affected by the disaster. To this end, comparisons will be made on current economic conditions between households in the affected region and households in the comparison region. Specifically, the dimensions to be analyzed are: (i) poverty, household expenditures, income, work, production for own consumption; (ii) family composition and emigration; (iii) self-reported health conditions; (iv) school attendance, delay and dropout of children and young people; and (v) participation in social and/or reparation programs; and 2. Conduct impact evaluation on the work trajectory and labor income of affected individuals. It intends to estimate the causal impact of the disaster on the trajectories of employment, unemployment, occupation, labor income and production for self-consumption. These estimates will be made for years between 2014 and 2022. For this purpose, primary data with contemporary and retrospective information collected precisely for these purposes will be used. The data come from a household survey representative for the affected regions and sub-regions and their comparison regions. Statistical and econometric methods will be used. In particular, impact evaluation will be made using the difference-in-differences method. (AU)

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