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Appraising the Unhappiness due to the Great East Japan Earthquake: Evidence from Weekly Panel Data on Subjective Well-being

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  • Fumio Ohtake
  • Katsunori Yamada

Abstract

After severe disasters, persons living not only in the directly affected areas, but also in distant areas could be seriously affected thorough images of the disaster on television and in newspapers. Hence, it can be difficult to define qualified beneficiaries for policy compensation in terms of psychological suffering. Building on the case of Great East Japan Earthquake, we appraise psychological suffering from disaster-related news through the experienced utility approach. We take advantage of the serendipitous timing of our original nationwide weekly panel survey that became a timely investigation of subjective well-being in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Although a pale was cast over the whole society, we found that there was a robust and large geographical heterogeneity between the disaster area and non-disaster areas in mental costs. This finding may capture the focusing effect, suggesting that resources for compensating mental suffering should be concentrated on persons living in the disaster area.

Suggested Citation

  • Fumio Ohtake & Katsunori Yamada, 2013. "Appraising the Unhappiness due to the Great East Japan Earthquake: Evidence from Weekly Panel Data on Subjective Well-being," ISER Discussion Paper 0876, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0876
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    File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2013/DP0876.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2015. "How natural disasters can affect environmental concerns, risk aversion, and even politics: evidence from Fukushima and three European countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1137-1180, October.
    2. SUGANO Saki, 2015. "The Well-Being of Elderly Survivors after Natural Disasters: Measuring the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake," Discussion papers 15069, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Welsch, Heinz & Biermann, Philipp, 2016. "Measuring nuclear power plant externalities using life satisfaction data: A spatial analysis for Switzerland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 98-111.
    4. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicholas R. Ziebarth, 2014. "Natural Disaster, Environmental Concerns, Well-Being and Policy Action," CINCH Working Paper Series 1405, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    5. Welsch, Heinz & Biermann, Philipp, 2014. "Fukushima and the preference for nuclear power in Europe: Evidence from subjective well-being data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 171-179.
    6. Welsch, Heinz, 2016. "Electricity Externalities, Siting, and the Energy Mix: A Survey," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 10(1), pages 57-94, November.
    7. Saki Sugano, 2016. "The Well-Being of Elderly Survivors after Natural Disasters: Measuring the Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 211-229, June.
    8. Rehdanz, Katrin & Welsch, Heinz & Narita, Daiju & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2015. "Well-being effects of a major natural disaster: The case of Fukushima," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 500-517.
    9. Tiefenbach, Tim & Kohlbacher, Florian, 2015. "Disasters, donations, and tax law changes: Disentangling effects on subjective well-being by exploiting a natural experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 94-112.

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