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Separate and Unequal: Post-Tsunami Aid Distribution in Southern India
Social Science Quarterly (2010)
  • Daniel P Aldrich, Purdue University
Objective. Disasters are a regular occurrence throughout the world. Whether all eligible victims of a catastrophe receive similar amounts of aid from governments and donors following a crisis remains an open question. Methods. I use data on 62 similarly damaged inland fishing villages in five districts of southeastern India following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to measure the causal influence of caste, location, wealth, and bridging social capital on the receipt of aid. Using two-limit tobit and negative binomial models, I investigate the factors that influence the time spent in refugee camps, receipt of an initial aid packet, and receipt of 4,000 rupees. Results. Caste, family status, and wealth proved to be powerful predictors of beneficiaries and nonbeneficiaries during the aid process. Conclusion. While many scholars and practitioners envision aid distribution as primarily a technocratic process, this research shows that discrimination and financial resources strongly affect the flow of disaster aid.
  • Indian Ocean tsunami,
  • social capital,
  • caste,
  • aid,
  • aid distribution
Publication Date
Citation Information
Daniel P Aldrich. "Separate and Unequal: Post-Tsunami Aid Distribution in Southern India" Social Science Quarterly (2010)
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