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

  • Eiji Yamamura

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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  8. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Does Equality Lead to Fraternity?," CEPR Discussion Papers 513, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  9. 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.
  10. Eduardo Cavallo & Andrew Powell & Oscar Becerra, 2010. "Estimating the Direct Economic Damages of the Earthquake in Haiti," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(546), pages F298-F312, 08.
  11. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "The role of social trust in reducing long-term truancy and forming human capital in Japan," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 380-389, April.
  12. 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.
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  14. Gustavsson, Magnus & Jordahl, Henrik, 2006. "Inequality and Trust in Sweden: Some Inequalities are More Harmful than Others," Working Paper Series 673, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  15. 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.
  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. 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.
  18. Andrés, Antonio R. & Halicioglu, Ferda & Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Socio-economic determinants of suicide in Japan," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 723-731.
  19. Sam Whitt & Rick K. Wilson, 2007. "Public Goods in The Field: Katrina Evacuees in Houston," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 377-387, October.
  20. Eiji Yamamura, 2013. "Natural Disasters and Participation in Volunteer Activities: A Case Study of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(1), pages 103-117, 03.
  21. Marcel Fafchamps, 2005. "Development and Social Capital," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-007, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  22. 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.
  23. yamamura, eiji, 2009. "Effects of interactions among social capital, income, and learning from experiences of natural disasters: A case study from Japan," MPRA Paper 16223, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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