Natural Disasters and Political Engagement: Evidence from the 2010-11 Pakistani Floods

Data Type
Geographic Data
Political Data
Survey Data
Year Covered


Data based on the Pakistani Floods, including information about flood effects surrounding the 2010 and 2011 Pakistani floods, legislative elections, and an original survey conducted between January and March of 2012. 

This is replication data for the paper "Natural Disasters and Political Engagement: Evidence from the 2010–11 Pakistani Floods". The abstract of the paper is as follows: 

How natural disasters affect politics in developing countries is an important question given the fragility of fledgling democratic institutions in some of these countries as well as likely increased exposure to natural disasters over time due to climate change. Research in sociology and psychology suggests traumatic events can inspire pro-social behavior and therefore might increase political engagement. Research in political science argues that economic resources are critical for political engagement and thus the economic dislocation from disasters may dampen participation. We argue that when the government and civil society response effectively blunts a disaster’s economic impacts, then political engagement may increase as citizens learn about government capacity. Using diverse data from the massive 2010-11 Pakistan floods, we find that Pakistanis in highly flood-affected areas turned out to vote at substantially higher rates three years later than those less exposed. We also provide speculative evidence on the mechanism. The increase in turnout was higher in areas with lower ex ante flood risk, which is consistent with a learning process. These results suggest that natural disasters may not necessarily undermine civil society in emerging developing democracies.

Please cite the paper where this data first appeared: 

Fair, C. Christine and Kuhn, Patrick and Malhotra, Neil A. and Shapiro, Jacob, Natural Disasters and Political Engagement: Evidence from the 2010–11 Pakistani Floods (May 31, 2017). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 17-42,

Single Country
Repeated Measurement