The Effectiveness of Pre-Disaster Planning and Post-Disaster Aid: Examining the impact on plants of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Author Name Matthew A. COLE (University of Birmingham) / Robert J R ELLIOTT (University of Birmingham) / OKUBO Toshihiro (Keio University) / Eric STROBL (Ecole Polytechnique)
Creation Date/NO. August 2015 15-E-097
Research Project Restoration from Earthquake Damage and Growth Strategies of the Japanese Regional Economy
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We examine the extent to which pre-disaster planning and post-disaster aid can help firms to recover from a natural disaster event. Using detailed plant-level data covering the areas affected by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, we find that neither pre-disaster planning nor post-disaster aid has a significant effect on the short term impact of the disaster in terms of the number of days that plants ceased operations. However, we do find evidence to suggest that post-disaster sales growth can be influenced by pre- and post-disaster policy. More specifically, we find that pre-disaster policies such as planning production substitution with other plants and making alternative transport arrangements affect sales post-disaster. We also discover that post-disaster aid from banks and from trading partners influences post-disaster sales but that government aid has no statistically significant effect.

Published: Cole, Matthew A., Robert J. R. Elliott, Toshihiro Okubo, and Eric Strobl, 2017. "Pre-disaster planning and post-disaster aid: Examining the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake," International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Vol. 21, pp. 291-302