The Physical and Social Determinants of Mortality in the 3.11 Tsunami

32 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2014

See all articles by Daniel P. Aldrich

Daniel P. Aldrich

Northeastern University - College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Security and Resilience Program

Yasuyuki Sawada

University of Tokyo - Faculty of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The human consequences of the 3.11 tsunami were not distributed equally across the municipalities of the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan. Instead, the mortality rate from the massive wave varied tremendously from zero to close to ten percent of the local residential population. What accounts for this variation remains a critical question for researchers and policy makers alike. This paper uses a new, sui generis data set including all villages, towns, and cities on the Pacific Ocean side of the Tohoku region to untangle the factors connected to mortality during the disaster. With data on demographic, geophysical, infrastructure, social capital, and political conditions for 133 municipalities, we find that tsunami height, stocks of social capital, and demographic conditions strongly influenced mortality rates. Given the high probability of future large scale catastrophes, these findings have important policy implications for disaster mitigation policies in Japan and abroad.

Keywords: disaster recovery, tsunami, mortality, social capital, quantitative analysis, 3.11

Suggested Citation

Aldrich, Daniel P. and Sawada, Yasuyuki, The Physical and Social Determinants of Mortality in the 3.11 Tsunami (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2455515

Daniel P. Aldrich (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Security and Resilience Program ( email )

360 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Yasuyuki Sawada

University of Tokyo - Faculty of Economics ( email )

7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 113-0033
Japan

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
26
Abstract Views
227
PlumX Metrics