Penning-Rowsell E C, Pardoe J, 2012, "Who benefits and who loses from flood risk reduction?" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 30(3) 448 – 466
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Who benefits and who loses from flood risk reduction?
Edmund C Penning-Rowsell, Joanna Pardoe
Abstract. The distributional effects of investment for the reduction of flood risk are
explored, with the UK as an example. Using three case studies, we initially investigate
the 'gainers' and the 'losers' from three contrasting engineering-oriented flood alleviation
and land drainage schemes, the results of which appear to show that property owners
at risk of flooding were the gainers and the general flood-free taxpayer was the loser.
An analysis of flood damages, however, shows that those losing work from repairing or
replacing flood damaged goods are a primary loser group as risk is reduced. Investigating
insurance cover for flooding (near-universal in the UK) also shows that the principal
real gainers appear to be insurance companies and their shareholders, since premiums
generally do not appear to fall as risk is reduced. The implication of these novel results are
evaluated both for the UK and, briefly, for elsewhere in the world.
Keywords: floods, risk reduction, losers, gainers, insurance, recovery, case studies
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