The Well-Being of Elderly Survivors after Natural Disasters: Measuring the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Author Name SUGANO Saki (Kobe University)
Creation Date/NO. May 2015 15-E-069
Research Project Toward a Comprehensive Resolution of the Social Security Problem: A new economics of aging
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The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011 had a devastating impact on the northeastern part of Japan. In a quasi-experimental situation, using panel data collected six months after the earthquake from the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR), this study examines the causal effects of the disaster on both the economic and psychological well-being of elderly survivors affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The results show that the subjective well-being of female survivors in their 60s and of those who had high financial assets significantly dropped. However, people in the other age and gender brackets did not exhibit a significant diminishment in their life satisfaction in the aftermath of the earthquake. These latter results may be due partially to the early economic recovery experienced in the surveyed city six months after the earthquake.

Published: 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, Vol. 67(2), pp. 211-229