References (88)



Social, Not Physical, Infrastructure: The Critical Role of Civil Society in Disaster Recovery

Daniel P. Aldrich

Purdue University


APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper

Despite the tremendous destruction wrought by catastrophes, social science holds few quantitative assessments of explanations for the rate of recovery. This article illuminates four factors - damage, population density, human capital, and economic capital - thought to explain the variation in the pace of population recovery following disaster along with the popular but relatively untested factor of social capital. Using time-series cross-sectional models and propensity score matching, I test these approaches using new data from the rebuilding of 39 neighborhoods in Tokyo after its 1923 earthquake. Social capital, more than earthquake damage, population density, human capital, or economic capital, best predicts population recovery in post-quake Tokyo. These findings suggest new approaches for research on social capital and disasters along with public policy avenues for handling catastrophe.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

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Date posted: August 1, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Aldrich, Daniel P., Social, Not Physical, Infrastructure: The Critical Role of Civil Society in Disaster Recovery (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1900998

Contact Information

Daniel P. Aldrich (Contact Author)
Purdue University ( email )
Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education
100 N. University Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States
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