On the Recovery of the Manufacturing Industry from the Great East Japan Earthquake

Author Name HAMAGUCHI Nobuaki  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. July 2015 15-J-044
Research Project Restoration from Earthquake Damage and Growth Strategies of the Japanese Regional Economy
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We investigate the manufacturing industry's recovery from the damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake by comparing the growth rates in 2010 and 2012 of tangible fixed asset value, production value, and employment of the directly affected prefectures against those of other prefectures. We find that: (1) the post-earthquake growth rates of tangible fixed asset value are significantly higher in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima prefectures in contrast to their pre-earthquake values which were relatively lower; (2) the post-earthquake growth rates of production values in the three prefectures are relatively lower; (3) the post-earthquake growth rate of employment in Miyagi prefecture is significantly lower. These empirical results suggest that tangible fixed assets recovered quickly, supported by the post-earthquake recovery assistance measures which financially assisted the renewal of the production equipment. However, this recovery was not accompanied by the revitalization of production and employment. Especially in Miyagi prefecture, where industries are relatively more concentrated along the coastal area, the recovery assistance measures have limited effects on employment.