Are Reactors Like Casinos? A Culture of Dependency in Japan

44 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2017 Last revised: 19 May 2017

Date Written: March 1, 2017


Japanese communities with nuclear reactors have the reactors because they applied for them, and they applied for them for the money. Among Japanese municipalities, they were some of the most dysfunctional before the reactors had even arrived. Communities depend on young families for the social capital that holds them intact, and these were the communities from which those families had already begun to leave. After the reactors arrived, young families continued to disappear. Unemployment rose. Divorce rates climbed. And in time, the communities had little -- other than reactor-revenue -- to which they could turn.

JEL Classification: H84, I38, J12, K32, L32, L94

Suggested Citation

Ramseyer, J. Mark, Are Reactors Like Casinos? A Culture of Dependency in Japan (March 1, 2017). University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 798, Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 17-08, Available at SSRN: or

J. Mark Ramseyer (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4878 (Phone)
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