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Natural disasters and social capital formation: The impact of the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake

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  • Eiji Yamamura

Abstract

The Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) earthquake struck Japan in 1995, causing devastating damage to the economic landscape of south-central Japan. The earthquake also caused people to realize the importance of social capital in Japan. Based on a large, individual-level database comprising 488,223 observations, this study investigated how, and the extent to which, the earthquake enhanced the investment in social capital through participation in community activity. The differences-in-differences method was used, and the following key findings were obtained: (1) In Japan, people were more likely to invest in social capital in 1996 than in 1991, (2) the effects of the earthquake decreased as the distance of one’s place of residence increased from Kobe, and (3) the earthquake significantly increased the social capital investment rate of Kobe residents, whereas it had no significant influence on the investment rate of residents of large cities close to Kobe.

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Paper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI RP 2013/10.

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Date of creation: 10 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2013_10

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Keywords: Natural disasters; social capital; volunteer activities.;

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  1. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
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  8. Luechinger, Simon & Raschky, Paul A., 2009. "Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 620-633, April.
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  10. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Natural disasters and participation in volunteer activities: A case study of the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake," MPRA Paper 37734, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Eiji Yamamura, 2010. "Effects of Interactions among Social Capital, Income and Learning from Experiences of Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Japan," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(8), pages 1019-1032.
  12. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Comparison of the effects of homeownership by individuals and their neighbors on social capital formation: Evidence from Japanese General Social Surveys," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 637-644.
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  16. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Social capital, household income, and preferences for income redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 498-511.
  17. Yasuyuki Sawada & Satoshi Shimizutani, 2007. "Consumption insurance against natural disasters: evidence from the Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) earthquake," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 303-306.
  18. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Trust, Inequality, and Ethnic Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 511, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  19. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
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  21. Hideki Toya & Mark Skidmore, 2012. "Do Natural Disasters Enhance Societal Trust?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3905, CESifo Group Munich.
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  1. Natural disasters and social capital (Japan)
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-03-25 12:10:00

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