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Impact of Natural Disasters on Industrial Agglomeration: A Case of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake

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Listed:
  • Asuka Imaizumi

    (Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo)

  • Kaori Ito

    (Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science)

  • Tetsuji Okazaki

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

Abstract

One of the main implications of the New Economic Geography, developed since the 1990s, is that a temporary shock can create a persistent impact on the geographic distribution of economic activities because of multiple equilibria. This paper investigates the long-run impact of a temporary shock on the geographic distribution of industries in Tokyo Prefecture, Japan, using the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 as a natural experiment. It is revealed that the temporary shock from the Great Kanto Earthquake was basically dissipated by 1936, just before the full-scale war with China broke out. On the other hand, through industry-level investigation, it is found that with respect to the machinery and metal industry, the impact was persistent and remained even in 1936. These findings suggest the importance of the industrial structure and transaction networks within industry in the mechanism determining geographic distribution of industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Asuka Imaizumi & Kaori Ito & Tetsuji Okazaki, 2008. "Impact of Natural Disasters on Industrial Agglomeration: A Case of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-602, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2008cf602
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "A Search For Multiple Equilibria In Urban Industrial Structure," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 29-65.
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    3. Charles H. Anderton & John R. Carter, 2001. "The Impact of War on Trade: An Interrupted Times-Series Study," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 38(4), pages 445-457, July.
    4. Miguel, Edward & Roland, GĂ©rard, 2011. "The long-run impact of bombing Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 1-15.
    5. Cha, Myung Soo, 2003. "Did Takahashi Korekiyo Rescue Japan from the Great Depression?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(01), pages 127-144, March.
    6. Nakajima, Kentaro, 2008. "Economic division and spatial relocation: The case of postwar Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 383-400, September.
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