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Natural Disasters and Participation in Volunteer Activities: A Case Study of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

  • Eiji Yamamura

The Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) earthquake in 1995 has had a significant detrimental effect on the economic conditions of southern-central Japan. However, the earthquake also led people to acknowledge the importance of the many volunteer activities in Japan at that time. Using a large sample of individual-level data from 1991 and 1996, this study investigates how and the extent to which the earthquake increased the participation of students and house-workers in volunteer activities. After controlling for various individual characteristics, a Heckman-Tobit model was used and the following key findings were obtained: (1) the probability of students’ participating in volunteer activities was 2% higher after the earthquake than before, and (2) the number of days that students spent participating in volunteer activities was 4.38 days longer after the earthquake than before. However, the same did not hold true for house-workers.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics.

Volume (Year): 84 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 103-117

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Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:84:y:2013:i:1:p:103-117
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  1. Yamamura, Eiji, 2009. "Comparison of the effects of homeownership by individuals and their neighbors on social capital formation: Evidence from Japanese General Social Surveys," MPRA Paper 19495, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Hideki Toya & Mark Skidmore, 2010. "Natural Disaster Impacts and Fiscal Decentralization," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 43-55, 07.
  3. Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2006. "The Impact of Natural and Manmade Disasters on Household Welfare," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25750, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Yasuyuki Sawada & Satoshi Shimizutani, 2008. "How Do People Cope with Natural Disasters? Evidence from the Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) Earthquake in 1995," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 463-488, 03.
  5. 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.
  6. Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography, and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 271-284, May.
  7. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Andrew Powell & Oscar Becerra, 2010. "Estimating the Direct Economic Damage of the Earthquake in Haiti," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6781, Inter-American Development Bank.
  8. Yamamura, Eiji, 2009. "How do neighbors influence investment in social capital? : Homeownership and length of residence," MPRA Paper 18440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Art Carden, 2010. "Emily Chamlee-Wright: The cultural and political economy of recovery: social learning in a post-disaster environment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 581-583, December.
  13. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2002. "Do Natural Disasters Promote Long-Run Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 664-687, October.
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