Hallegatte, Stéphane

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Green growth, Climate change, Urban development
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Last updated: March 29, 2024
Stéphane Hallegatte is a Senior Climate Change Adviser at the World Bank. He joined the World Bank in 2012 after 10 years of academic research in environmental economics and climate science for Météo-France, the Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement, and Stanford University. His research interests include the economics of natural disasters and risk management, climate change adaptation, urban policy and economics, climate change mitigation, and green growth. Mr. Hallegatte was a lead author of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is the author of dozens of articles published in international journals in multiple disciplines and of several books, including Green Economy and the Crisis: 30 Proposals for a More Sustainable France , Risk Management: Lessons from the Storm Xynthia , and Natural Disasters and Climate Change: An Economic Perspective . He also co-led the World Bank reports Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development , published in 2012 and Decarbonizing Development in 2015, and was member of the core writing team of the 2014 World Development Report Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risks for Development . Most recently, he led the World Bank reports Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty , Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters , and Lifelines: the Resilient Infrastructure Opportunity. He was the team leader for the World Bank Group Climate Change Action Plan, a large internal coordination exercise to determine and explain how the Group will support countries in their implementation of the Paris Agreement. Mr. Hallegatte holds engineering degrees from the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and the Ecole Nationale de la Météorologie (Toulouse), a master's degree in meteorology and climatology from the Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse) and a Ph.D in economics from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris).
Citations 2007 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 15
  • Publication
    An Exploration of the Link between Development, Economic Growth, and Natural Risk
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-10) Hallegatte, Stephane
    This paper investigates the link between development, economic growth, and the economic losses from natural disasters in a general analytical framework, with an application to hurricane flood risks in New Orleans. It concludes that where capital accumulates through increased density of capital at risk in a given area, and the costs of protection therefore increase more slowly than capital at risk, (i) protection improves over time and the probability of disaster occurrence decreases; (ii) capital at risk -- and thus economic losses in case of disaster -- increases faster than economic growth; (iii) increased risk-taking reinforces economic growth. In this context, average annual losses from disasters grow with income, and they grow faster than income at low levels of development and slower than income at high levels of development. These findings are robust to a broad range of modeling choices and parameter values, and to the inclusion of risk aversion. They show that risk-taking is both a driver and a consequence of economic development, and that the world is very likely to experience fewer but more costly disasters in the future. It is therefore critical to increase economic resilience through the development of stronger recovery and reconstruction support instruments.
  • Publication
    Socioeconomic Resilience in Sri Lanka: Natural Disaster Poverty and Wellbeing Impact Assessment
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-09) Walsh, Brian; Hallegatte, Stephane
    Traditional risk assessments use asset losses as the main metric to measure the severity of a disaster. This paper proposes an expanded risk assessment based on a framework that adds socioeconomic resilience and uses wellbeing losses as the main measure of disaster severity. Using an agent-based model that represents explicitly the recovery and reconstruction process at the household level, this risk assessment provides new insights into disaster risks in Sri Lanka. The analysis indicates that regular flooding events can move tens of thousands of Sri Lankans into transient poverty at once, hindering the country's recent progress on poverty eradication and shared prosperity. As metrics of disaster impacts, poverty incidence and well-being losses facilitate quantification of the benefits of interventions like rapid post-disaster support and adaptive social protection systems. Such investments efficiently reduce wellbeing losses by making exposed and vulnerable populations more resilient. Nationally and on average, the bottom income quintile suffers only 7 percent of the total asset losses but 32 percent of the total wellbeing losses. Average annual wellbeing losses due to fluvial flooding in Sri Lanka are estimated at US$119 million per year, more than double the asset losses of US$78 million. Asset losses are reported to be highly concentrated in Colombo district, and wellbeing losses are more widely distributed throughout the country. Finally, the paper applies the socioeconomic resilience framework to a cost-benefit analysis of prospective adaptive social protection systems, based on enrollment in Samurdhi, the main social support system in Sri Lanka.
  • Publication
    From Growth to Green Growth : A Framework
    (2011-11-01) Hallegatte, Stephane; Fay, Marianne
    Green growth is about making growth processes resource-efficient, cleaner and more resilient without necessarily slowing them. This paper aims at clarifying these concepts in an analytical framework and at proposing foundations for green growth. The green growth approach proposed here is based on (1) focusing on what needs to happen over the next 5-10 years before the world gets locked into patterns that would be prohibitively expensive and complex to modify and (2) reconciling the short and the long term, by offsetting short-term costs and maximizing synergies and economic co-benefits. This, in turn, increases the social and political acceptability of environmental policies. This framework identifies channels through which green policies can potentially contribute to economic growth. However, only detailed country- and context-specific analyses for each of these channels could reach firm conclusion regarding their actual impact on growth. Finally, the paper discusses the policies that can be implemented to capture these co-benefits and environmental benefits. Since green growth policies pursue a variety of goals, they are best served by a combination of instruments: price-based policies are important but are only one component in a policy tool-box that can also include norms and regulation, public production and direct investment, information creation and dissemination, education and moral suasion, or industrial and innovation policies.
  • Publication
    How Economic Growth and Rational Decisions Can Make Disaster Losses Grow Faster Than Wealth
    (2011-03-01) Hallegatte, Stephane
    Assuming that capital productivity is higher in areas at risk from natural hazards (such as coastal zones or flood plains), this paper shows that rapid development in these areas -- and the resulting increase in disaster losses -- may be the consequence of a rational and well-informed trade-off between lower disaster losses and higher productivity. With disasters possibly becoming less frequent but increasingly destructive in the future, average disaster losses may grow faster than wealth. Myopic expectations, lack of information, moral hazard, and externalities reinforce the likelihood of this scenario. These results have consequences on how to design risk management and climate change policies.
  • Publication
    Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017) Hallegatte, Stephane; Vogt-Schilb, Adrien; Rozenberg, Julie
    “Economic losses from natural disasters totaled $92 billion in 2015.” Such statements, all too commonplace, assess the severity of disasters by no other measure than the damage inflicted on buildings, infrastructure, and agricultural production. But $1 in losses does not mean the same thing to a rich person that it does to a poor person; the gravity of a $92 billion loss depends on who experiences it. By focusing on aggregate losses—the traditional approach to disaster risk—we restrict our consideration to how disasters affect those wealthy enough to have assets to lose in the first place, and largely ignore the plight of poor people. This report moves beyond asset and production losses and shifts its attention to how natural disasters affect people’s well-being. Disasters are far greater threats to well-being than traditional estimates suggest. This approach provides a more nuanced view of natural disasters than usual reporting, and a perspective that takes fuller account of poor people’s vulnerabilities. Poor people suffer only a fraction of economic losses caused by disasters, but they bear the brunt of their consequences. Understanding the disproportionate vulnerability of poor people also makes the case for setting new intervention priorities to lessen the impact of natural disasters on the world’s poor, such as expanding financial inclusion, disaster risk and health insurance, social protection and adaptive safety nets, contingent finance and reserve funds, and universal access to early warning systems. Efforts to reduce disaster risk and poverty go hand in hand. Because disasters impoverish so many, disaster risk management is inseparable from poverty reduction policy, and vice versa. As climate change magnifies natural hazards, and because protection infrastructure alone cannot eliminate risk, a more resilient population has never been more critical to breaking the cycle of disaster-induced poverty.
  • Publication
    Building Back Better: Achieving Resilience through Stronger, Faster, and More Inclusive Post-Disaster Reconstruction
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06-18) Hallegatte, Stéphane; Rentschler, Jun
    The 2017 Unbreakable report made the case that disaster losses disproportionately affect poor people. The Caribbean hurricane season of 2017 was a tragic illustration of this. Two category 5 hurricanes wreaked destruction on numerous small islands, causing severe damages on islands like Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Martin. The human cost of these disasters was immense, and the impact of this devastation was felt most strongly by poorer communities in the path of the storms. And yet, amidst the destruction it is essential to look forward and to build back better. In this 2018 report the authors explore how countries can strengthen their resilience to natural shocks through a better reconstruction process. Reconstruction needs to be strong, so that assets and livelihoods become less vulnerable to future shocks; fast, so that people can get back to their normal life as early as possible; and inclusive, so that nobody is left behind in the recovery process. The benefits of building back better could be very large – up to US$173 billion per year globally – and would be greatest among the communities and countries that are hit by disasters most intensely and frequently and that have limited coverage of social protection and financial inclusion. Small island states – because of their size, exposure, and vulnerability – are among the countries where building back better has the greatest potential. A stronger, faster, and more inclusive recovery would lead to an average reduction in disaster-related well-being losses of 59 percent in the 17 small island states covered in the report.
  • Publication
    Green Industrial Policies : When and How
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-10) Hallegatte, Stephane; Fay, Marianne; Vogt-Schilb, Adrien
    Green industrial policies can be defined as industrial policies with an environmental goal -- or more precisely, as sector-targeted policies that affect the economic production structure with the aim of generating environmental benefits. This paper provides a framework to assess their desirability depending on the effectiveness and political acceptability of price instruments. The main messages are the following. (i) Greening growth processes to the extent and with the speed needed cannot be done without industrial policies, even if prices can be adjusted to reflect environmental objectives. (ii) "Sunrise" green industrial policies are needed because they support the development of critical new technologies and sectors, bring down costs, and allow for reduced emissions in the short term even in the absence of carbon pricing. (iii) "Sunset" green industrial policies and trade policies may be needed in conjunction with safety nets to make carbon pricing politically or socially acceptable. They can help mitigate the impact of a carbon price on competitiveness and unemployment and smooth the transition by helping industries adjust to the new conditions. (iv) Green or not, industrial policy requires carefully navigating the twin dangers of market and governance failure. The viability of supported technologies and sectors is difficult to assess through a market-test given their dependence on continued environmental policies or pricing -- such as a carbon price. Particular attention must be paid to avoid potential unintended negative effects, such as rebound effects (especially if prices are inappropriate), misallocation of capital, or capture and rent-seeking behaviors.
  • Publication
    Socioeconomic Resilience: Multi-Hazard Estimates in 117 Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-11) Bangalore, Mook; Hallegatte, Stephane; Vogt-Schilb, Adrien
    This paper presents a model to assess the socioeconomic resilience to natural disasters of an economy, defined as its capacity to mitigate the impact of disaster-related asset losses on welfare. The paper proposes a tool to help decision makers identify the most promising policy options to reduce welfare losses from natural disasters. Applied to riverine and storm surge floods, earthquakes, windstorms, and tsunamis in 117 countries, the model provides estimates of country-level socioeconomic resilience. Because hazards disproportionally affect poor people, each $1 of global natural disaster-related asset loss is equivalent to a $1.6 reduction in the affected country’s national income, on average. The model also assesses policy levers to reduce welfare losses in each country. It shows that considering asset losses is insufficient to assess disaster risk management policies. The same reduction in asset losses results in different welfare gains depending on who (especially poor or nonpoor households) benefits. And some policies, such as adaptive social protection, do not reduce asset losses, but still reduce welfare losses. Post-disaster transfers bring an estimated benefit of at least $1.30 per dollar disbursed in the 117 countries studied, and their efficiency is not very sensitive to targeting errors.
  • Publication
    Economic Resilience : Definition and Measurement
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Hallegatte, Stephane
    The welfare impact of a disaster does not only depend on the physical characteristics of the event or its direct impacts in terms of lost lives and assets. Welfare impacts also depend on the ability of the economy to cope, recover, and reconstruct and therefore to minimize aggregate consumption losses. This ability can be referred to as the macroeconomic resilience to natural disasters. Macroeconomic resilience has two components: instantaneous resilience, which is the ability to limit the magnitude of immediate production losses for a given amount of asset losses, and dynamic resilience, which is the ability to reconstruct and recover. Welfare impacts also depend on micro-economic resilience, which depends on the distribution of losses; on households' vulnerability, such as their pre-disaster income and ability to smooth shocks over time with savings, borrowing, and insurance, and on the social protection system, or the mechanisms for sharing risks across the population. The (economic) welfare disaster risk in a country can be reduced by reducing the exposure or vulnerability of people and assets (reducing asset losses), increasing macroeconomic resilience (reducing aggregate consumption losses for a given level of asset losses), or increasing microeconomic resilience (reducing welfare losses for a given level of aggregate consumption losses). The paper proposes rules of thumb to estimate macroeconomic and microeconomic resilience based on the relevant parameters in the economy. It also provides a toolbox of policies to increase macro- or micro-economic resilience and a list of indicators that can be used to build a resilience indicator.
  • Publication
    Modeling the Roles of Heterogeneity, Substitution, and Inventories in the Assessment of Natural Disaster Economic Costs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Hallegatte, Stéphane
    Based on an IO structure, the ARIO-inventory model simulates the economic consequences and responses to a natural disaster. It represents explicitly production bottlenecks, models a flexibility in production capacity in case of scarcity, and introduces inventories as an additional flexibility in the production system. Moreover, it takes into account the heterogeneity in goods and services within sectors, and the consequences on production bottlenecks and substitution possibilities. The model is applied to the landfall of hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Sensitivity analyses show that results are extremely sensitive to several uncertain model parameters. In particular, accounting for heterogeneity within sectors has a large negative influence on production bottlenecks, and thus increases total economic losses from natural disasters and other supply-side shocks. This paper shows that current models disregard important mechanisms and proposes an approach to take them into account.