Do Natural Disasters Enhance Societal Trust?

40 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2012

See all articles by Hideki Toya

Hideki Toya

Nagoya City University - Department of Economics

Mark Skidmore

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural Economics

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Date Written: March 13, 2013

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the long- and short-run relationships between disasters and societal trust. A growing body research suggests that factors such as income inequality, ethnic fractionalization, and religious heritage are important determinants of social capital in general, and trust in particular. We present new cross-country and panel data evidence of another important determinant of trust - the frequency of natural disasters. Frequent naturally occurring events such as storms require (and provide opportunity for) societies to work closely together to meet their challenges. While natural disasters can have devastating human and economic impacts, a potential spillover benefit of greater disaster exposure may be a more tightly knit society.

Keywords: natural disasters, economic development, social capital, trust

JEL Classification: O100, Q540

Suggested Citation

Toya, Hideki and Skidmore, Mark L., Do Natural Disasters Enhance Societal Trust? (March 13, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3905, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2138801

Hideki Toya

Nagoya City University - Department of Economics ( email )

Yamanohata 1, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku
Nagoya, 467-8501
Japan

Mark L. Skidmore (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

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