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

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    • Kamesaka Akiko
    • School of Business Administration, Aoyama Gakuin University|Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan


Using large panel data which consist of responses from over 4000 households in all over Japan, we analyze changes in people's worldviews and subjective well-being (happiness) before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake. As a result we find that 1) there were more people—more than six times as many—who replied that their happiness improved after the earthquake than those who said it worsened, and also that 2) many more Japanese people have become more altruistic since the earthquake, even in the most affected areas. One possible interpretation of these results is that many Japanese became more altruistic as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake, made donation, and donating improved people's happiness. Our regression analysis that allows for reverse causality yields results that are consistent with this interpretation.


  • Journal of Behavioral Economics and Finance

    Journal of Behavioral Economics and Finance 5(0), 269-272, 2012

    Association of Behavioral Economics and Finance


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