PhD defence: Measurements of the Causes and Consequences of Drought

PhD defence

Peter Kielberg Fisker


This PhD thesis is a conjunction of four manuscripts and one published paper on the measurement of disasters. The central idea is that in order to study the causes and consequences of disasters, it is necessary to separate the concept into its components: hazard, exposure, vulnerability, resilience, response, impact, etc. With this in mind, the thesis will take the reader through 4 chapters on the measurement of causes and consequences of drought and one chapter on the role of technology in disaster relief coordination.

The first chapter is about measuring drought hazard. It outlines some of the caveats of existing measures of agricultural drought often used in the economics research, and suggests the use of predicted greenness anomalies. The second and third chapter exploit the observed impacts of agricultural drought (measured as predicted greenness anomalies) on socio-economic outcomes to develop practical new ways of measuring vulnerability and resilience in the Sahel. The fourth chapter looks into one of the short term consequence of agricultural drought in Nigeria, namely the change in production methods among small-scale farmers. The fifth chapter studies one of the factors that can mediate the consequences of disasters. A case study is built around the Virtual OSOCC, an online platform for disaster relief coordination.


John Rand, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Henrik Hansen, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Assesment Committee

Jens Friis Lund, Associate Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

David Stifel, Professor, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, USA

Peter Lanjouw, Professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you are interested in a full copy of the thesis, you can contact the PhD student or one of the supervisors.