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The Long-Run Socio-Economic Consequences of a Large Disaster: The 1995 Earthquake in Kobe.

duPont W, Noy I, Okuyama Y, Sawada Y - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Three important empirical patterns emerge: First, the population size and especially the average income level in Kobe have been lower than the counterfactual level without the earthquake for over fifteen years, indicating a permanent negative effect of the earthquake.Such a negative impact can be found especially in the central areas which are closer to the epicenter.Much of this is associated with movement of people to East Kobe, and consequent movement of jobs to the metropolitan center of Osaka, that is located immediately to the East of Kobe.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Economics Department, College of St Benedict/St John's University, St. Joseph, MN, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
We quantify the 'permanent' socio-economic impacts of the Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) earthquake in 1995 by employing a large-scale panel dataset of 1,719 cities, towns, and wards from Japan over three decades. In order to estimate the counterfactual--i.e., the Kobe economy without the earthquake--we use the synthetic control method. Three important empirical patterns emerge: First, the population size and especially the average income level in Kobe have been lower than the counterfactual level without the earthquake for over fifteen years, indicating a permanent negative effect of the earthquake. Such a negative impact can be found especially in the central areas which are closer to the epicenter. Second, the surrounding areas experienced some positive permanent impacts in spite of short-run negative effects of the earthquake. Much of this is associated with movement of people to East Kobe, and consequent movement of jobs to the metropolitan center of Osaka, that is located immediately to the East of Kobe. Third, the furthest areas in the vicinity of Kobe seem to have been insulated from the large direct and indirect impacts of the earthquake.

No MeSH data available.


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Wards in Kobe City.
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pone.0138714.g002: Wards in Kobe City.

Mentions: The Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake (hereafter, the Kobe earthquake) struck at 5:46 a.m. on January 17, 1995, on Awaji Island, in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture (Fig 1) offshore from Hyogo’s main metropolitan center, the city of Kobe (Fig 2). The earthquake affected an area that was, at the time, home to 4 million people and contained one of Japan’s main industrial clusters. The earthquake, which had registered 7.3 on the Richter scale, cost 6,432 lives, resulted in 43,792 injured, and damaged 639,686 buildings, of which 104,906 were completely destroyed [1]. The Kobe earthquake was responsible for one of the largest direct economic losses due to a natural hazard in recorded human history. While we understand well the direct impact of the Kobe earthquake, we know much less about its impacts in the long-term. Surveys suggest that the people of Kobe experienced a prolonged and significant adverse impact on their well-being [2–3]. We know a lot less about Kobe’s economic recovery. Did the Kobe earthquake in 1995 indeed cause permanent losses to the economies of Kobe and other surrounding areas? Or can the recorded sense of deteriorating well-being be explained through mechanisms other than a real decline in the economic circumstances of the region?


The Long-Run Socio-Economic Consequences of a Large Disaster: The 1995 Earthquake in Kobe.

duPont W, Noy I, Okuyama Y, Sawada Y - PLoS ONE (2015)

Wards in Kobe City.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4591010&req=5

pone.0138714.g002: Wards in Kobe City.
Mentions: The Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake (hereafter, the Kobe earthquake) struck at 5:46 a.m. on January 17, 1995, on Awaji Island, in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture (Fig 1) offshore from Hyogo’s main metropolitan center, the city of Kobe (Fig 2). The earthquake affected an area that was, at the time, home to 4 million people and contained one of Japan’s main industrial clusters. The earthquake, which had registered 7.3 on the Richter scale, cost 6,432 lives, resulted in 43,792 injured, and damaged 639,686 buildings, of which 104,906 were completely destroyed [1]. The Kobe earthquake was responsible for one of the largest direct economic losses due to a natural hazard in recorded human history. While we understand well the direct impact of the Kobe earthquake, we know much less about its impacts in the long-term. Surveys suggest that the people of Kobe experienced a prolonged and significant adverse impact on their well-being [2–3]. We know a lot less about Kobe’s economic recovery. Did the Kobe earthquake in 1995 indeed cause permanent losses to the economies of Kobe and other surrounding areas? Or can the recorded sense of deteriorating well-being be explained through mechanisms other than a real decline in the economic circumstances of the region?

Bottom Line: Three important empirical patterns emerge: First, the population size and especially the average income level in Kobe have been lower than the counterfactual level without the earthquake for over fifteen years, indicating a permanent negative effect of the earthquake.Such a negative impact can be found especially in the central areas which are closer to the epicenter.Much of this is associated with movement of people to East Kobe, and consequent movement of jobs to the metropolitan center of Osaka, that is located immediately to the East of Kobe.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Economics Department, College of St Benedict/St John's University, St. Joseph, MN, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
We quantify the 'permanent' socio-economic impacts of the Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) earthquake in 1995 by employing a large-scale panel dataset of 1,719 cities, towns, and wards from Japan over three decades. In order to estimate the counterfactual--i.e., the Kobe economy without the earthquake--we use the synthetic control method. Three important empirical patterns emerge: First, the population size and especially the average income level in Kobe have been lower than the counterfactual level without the earthquake for over fifteen years, indicating a permanent negative effect of the earthquake. Such a negative impact can be found especially in the central areas which are closer to the epicenter. Second, the surrounding areas experienced some positive permanent impacts in spite of short-run negative effects of the earthquake. Much of this is associated with movement of people to East Kobe, and consequent movement of jobs to the metropolitan center of Osaka, that is located immediately to the East of Kobe. Third, the furthest areas in the vicinity of Kobe seem to have been insulated from the large direct and indirect impacts of the earthquake.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus