Effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Subjective Well-Being

23 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2015

See all articles by Takuya Ishino

Takuya Ishino

Kanazawa Seiryo University

Akiko Kamesaka

Aoyama Gakuin University

Toshiya Murai

Kyoto University

Masao Ogaki

Keio University

Date Written: January 2015

Abstract

Using a large panel data set that samples over 4000 Japanese, we analyze changes in people’s subjective well-being (happiness) and altruistic worldview before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake. As a result we find that 1) more people replied that their happiness improved after the earthquake than said it worsened, and also that 2) many more Japanese people became more altruistic since the earthquake, even in the most affected areas. One possible interpretation of these results is that an increase in altruism due to the earthquake spurred people to give to charity, which in turn increased their happiness. Our regression analysis yields results that are consistent with this story.

Suggested Citation

Ishino, Takuya and Kamesaka, Akiko and Murai, Toshiya and Ogaki, Masao, Effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Subjective Well-Being (January 2015). Tokyo Center for Economic Research (TCER) Paper No. E-89. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2550633

Takuya Ishino

Kanazawa Seiryo University ( email )

Ushi 10-1
Gosho-machi
Kanazawa, Ishikawa 9208620
Japan

Akiko Kamesaka (Contact Author)

Aoyama Gakuin University ( email )

4-4-25 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
Tokyo, 150-8366
Japan

Toshiya Murai

Kyoto University ( email )

Yoshida-Honmachi
Sakyo-ku
Kyoto, 606-8501
Japan

Masao Ogaki

Keio University ( email )

2-15-45 Mita
Minato-ku
Tokyo, 108-8345
Japan

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