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Earthquake in Chile on economic growth - Essay Example

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The recent article in the Economist entitled “Chile’s Earthquake: Counting the Cost,” seeks to assess the economic distress levied on the Chilean economy by the recent earthquake in that country. On February 27th 2010 an earthquake struck in Chile that hit 8.8 on the…
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Earthquake in Chile on economic growth
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Earthquake in Chile on economic growth

Myriad tidal waves, following the earthquake, struck many other villages and towns and victimized “fisherman and farm workers…as well as campers and backpackers (Chile 2010). In comparison to the governmental response to the earthquake in Haiti a few months back, the Chilean government was better able, albeit imperfectly, to respond to the disaster and help the people. In response to widespread looting in the days that followed, the government of Michelle Bachelet dispatched the army to keep the peace. The task of rebuilding the country will be immense. The earthquake “caused $15-30 billion in damage, or up to 20% of Chile’s GDP” (Chile 2010), an amount that may still climb once a more accurate picture of the damage emerges. Affected sectors of the economy include both the timber industries and viticulture. With approximately $11 billion held in a sovereign fund, the government at least has some resources to draw on in order to help rebuild the country.
Developed by Roy F. Harrod and Evsey Domar during and after the Second World War, the Harrod-Domar model seeks to explain economic growth as not being linear but rather as being chaotic. It asserts that “even” growth is neither a reliable event nor a naturally determined one. Popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s it has probably influenced the historiography of the reasons for the Great Depression ending and the economic expansion of the 1950’s. The war brought the economic growth that ended the Great Depression. Furthermore, it is commonly held that when the troops came home they had a large amount of unspent savings. When they started to spend these savings, the economy took off. Thus the Harrod-Domar model would hold that a high level of savings, or available capital, is an engine of growth. Investment forces capital to build up thus spurring economic expansion. In developing economies, like Chile for example, a great amount of available labor can help increase output without causing ... Read More
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