Well-being effects of a major natural disaster: The case of Fukushima

Katrin Rehdanz, Heinz Welsch, Daiju Narita, Toshihiro Okubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on a quasi-experimental difference-in-differences approach, we use panel data for 5979 individuals interviewed in Japan before and after the tsunami and nuclear accident at Fukushima to analyze the effects of the combined disaster on people's subjective well-being. To conduct our analysis, we use Geographical Information Systems to merge the subjective well-being data with information on respondents' distance from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, their proximity to nuclear power stations in general, and the spatial distribution of radioactive fallout after the accident. Our main findings are as follows: (1) After the disaster, people living in a place affected by the tsunami or close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant experienced a drop in life happiness, while the effects declined with distance to the place of the disaster. (2) No change in subjective well-being is detectable in people living close to nuclear facilities in general. (3) In contrast to happiness with life after the disaster, no effect on people's happiness with their entire life can be found among those affected by the disaster. (4) The drop in life happiness in municipalities affected by the tsunami is equivalent to 72% of annual income and reaches 240% for those living in close distance to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant (≤150 km).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-517
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume116
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1

Fingerprint

Natural disasters
Well-being
Disaster
Happiness
Subjective well-being
Tsunami
Accidents
Power plant
Nuclear power
Proximity
Spatial distribution
Geographical information system
Municipalities
Income
Japan
Panel data
Difference-in-differences
Nuclear power plant

Keywords

  • Difference-in-differences
  • Fukushima
  • Natural disaster
  • Nuclear accident
  • Subjective well-being
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Well-being effects of a major natural disaster : The case of Fukushima. / Rehdanz, Katrin; Welsch, Heinz; Narita, Daiju; Okubo, Toshihiro.

In: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 116, 01.08.2015, p. 500-517.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e70a12e5afce4f37b8277d3b056672de,
title = "Well-being effects of a major natural disaster: The case of Fukushima",
abstract = "Based on a quasi-experimental difference-in-differences approach, we use panel data for 5979 individuals interviewed in Japan before and after the tsunami and nuclear accident at Fukushima to analyze the effects of the combined disaster on people's subjective well-being. To conduct our analysis, we use Geographical Information Systems to merge the subjective well-being data with information on respondents' distance from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, their proximity to nuclear power stations in general, and the spatial distribution of radioactive fallout after the accident. Our main findings are as follows: (1) After the disaster, people living in a place affected by the tsunami or close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant experienced a drop in life happiness, while the effects declined with distance to the place of the disaster. (2) No change in subjective well-being is detectable in people living close to nuclear facilities in general. (3) In contrast to happiness with life after the disaster, no effect on people's happiness with their entire life can be found among those affected by the disaster. (4) The drop in life happiness in municipalities affected by the tsunami is equivalent to 72{\%} of annual income and reaches 240{\%} for those living in close distance to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant (≤150 km).",
keywords = "Difference-in-differences, Fukushima, Natural disaster, Nuclear accident, Subjective well-being, Willingness to pay",
author = "Katrin Rehdanz and Heinz Welsch and Daiju Narita and Toshihiro Okubo",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jebo.2015.05.014",
language = "English",
volume = "116",
pages = "500--517",
journal = "Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization",
issn = "0167-2681",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Well-being effects of a major natural disaster

T2 - The case of Fukushima

AU - Rehdanz, Katrin

AU - Welsch, Heinz

AU - Narita, Daiju

AU - Okubo, Toshihiro

PY - 2015/8/1

Y1 - 2015/8/1

N2 - Based on a quasi-experimental difference-in-differences approach, we use panel data for 5979 individuals interviewed in Japan before and after the tsunami and nuclear accident at Fukushima to analyze the effects of the combined disaster on people's subjective well-being. To conduct our analysis, we use Geographical Information Systems to merge the subjective well-being data with information on respondents' distance from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, their proximity to nuclear power stations in general, and the spatial distribution of radioactive fallout after the accident. Our main findings are as follows: (1) After the disaster, people living in a place affected by the tsunami or close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant experienced a drop in life happiness, while the effects declined with distance to the place of the disaster. (2) No change in subjective well-being is detectable in people living close to nuclear facilities in general. (3) In contrast to happiness with life after the disaster, no effect on people's happiness with their entire life can be found among those affected by the disaster. (4) The drop in life happiness in municipalities affected by the tsunami is equivalent to 72% of annual income and reaches 240% for those living in close distance to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant (≤150 km).

AB - Based on a quasi-experimental difference-in-differences approach, we use panel data for 5979 individuals interviewed in Japan before and after the tsunami and nuclear accident at Fukushima to analyze the effects of the combined disaster on people's subjective well-being. To conduct our analysis, we use Geographical Information Systems to merge the subjective well-being data with information on respondents' distance from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, their proximity to nuclear power stations in general, and the spatial distribution of radioactive fallout after the accident. Our main findings are as follows: (1) After the disaster, people living in a place affected by the tsunami or close to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant experienced a drop in life happiness, while the effects declined with distance to the place of the disaster. (2) No change in subjective well-being is detectable in people living close to nuclear facilities in general. (3) In contrast to happiness with life after the disaster, no effect on people's happiness with their entire life can be found among those affected by the disaster. (4) The drop in life happiness in municipalities affected by the tsunami is equivalent to 72% of annual income and reaches 240% for those living in close distance to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant (≤150 km).

KW - Difference-in-differences

KW - Fukushima

KW - Natural disaster

KW - Nuclear accident

KW - Subjective well-being

KW - Willingness to pay

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84934985285&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84934985285&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.05.014

DO - 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.05.014

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84934985285

VL - 116

SP - 500

EP - 517

JO - Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

JF - Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

SN - 0167-2681

ER -