Faculty Sponsor

Plamen Nikolov


The Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 resulted in grave consequences for South East Asia. Indonesia, in particular, had the highest death toll, losing over 150,000 people. Indonesia’s coastal region Aceh was the hardest hit by this disaster. Exploiting exogenous spatial variation at the district level, we use difference-in-difference analysis to estimate the causal effect of the 2004 disaster on subsequent crime rates. We find that after the tsunami, total annual crime rate went down, on average, by 244 crimes per annum.