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Natural disasters and indicators of social cohesion


  • Aitor Calo-Blanco
  • Jaromír Kovářík
  • Friederike Mengel
  • José Gabriel Romero


Do adversarial environmental conditions create social cohesion? We provide new answers to this question by exploiting spatial and temporal variation in exposure to earthquakes across Chile. Using a variety of methods and controlling for a number of socio-economic variables, we find that exposure to earthquakes has a positive effect on several indicators of social cohesion. Social cohesion increases after a big earthquake and slowly erodes in periods where environmental conditions are less adverse. Our results contribute to the current debate on whether and how environmental conditions shape formal and informal institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Aitor Calo-Blanco & Jaromír Kovářík & Friederike Mengel & José Gabriel Romero, 2017. "Natural disasters and indicators of social cohesion," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(6), pages 1-13, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0176885
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176885

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    Cited by:

    1. Livert, Felipe & Gainza, Xabier & Acuña, Jose, 2019. "Paving the electoral way: Urban infrastructure, partisan politics and civic engagement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.
    2. Álvarez-Aranda, Rocío & Chirkova, Serafima & Romero, José Gabriel, 2020. "Growing in the womb: The effect of seismic activity on fetal growth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C).
    3. García Hombrados, Jorge, 2020. "The lasting effects of natural disasters on property crime: Evidence from the 2010 Chilean earthquake," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 114-154.
    4. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Philip Verwimp, 2016. "Pro-social behavior after a disaster: parochial or universal? Evidence from a natural experiment in Belgium," Working Papers CEB 16-054, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Sung Hoon Kang & Mark Skidmore, 2018. "The Effects of Natural Disasters on Social Trust: Evidence from South Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-16, August.
    6. Ilan Cerna-Turoff & Hanna-Tina Fischer & Susannah Mayhew & Karen Devries, 2019. "Violence against children and natural disasters: A systematic review and meta-analysis of quantitative evidence," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(5), pages 1-18, May.
    7. Bejarano, Hernan & Gillet, Joris & Lara, Ismael Rodríguez, 2020. "Trust and trustworthiness after negative random shocks," SocArXiv p4tw2, Center for Open Science.
    8. Arnstein Aassve & Guido Alfani & Francesco Gandolfi & Marco Le Moglie, 2020. "Epidemics and Trust: The Case of the Spanish Flu," Working Papers 661, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

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