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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eiji Yamamura, 2013. "Natural disasters and social capital formation: The impact of the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2013/10, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  • Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2013_10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Chisako Yamane & Shoko Yamane & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2015. "Trust and Happiness: Comparative Study Before and After the Great East Japan Earthquake," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 919-935, September.
    2. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Fumio Ohtake, 2017. "Altruistic and selfish motivations of charitable giving:Case of the hometown tax donation system in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 1003, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    3. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Chisako Yamane & Shoko Yamane, 2014. "Effect of major disasters on geographical mobility intentions: the case of the Fukushima nuclear accident," ISER Discussion Paper 0903, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    4. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
    5. Uslaner, Eric & yamamura, Eiji, 2016. "Disaster and political trust: The Japan Tsunami and Earthquake of 2011," MPRA Paper 70527, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural disasters; social capital; volunteer activities.;

    JEL classification:

    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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