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Article
Substitute or Complement? How Social Capital, Age, and SES Interacted to Impact Mortality in Japan's 3/11 Tsunami
Social Science and Medicine: Population Health (2019)
  • Maoxin Ye, Tohoku University
  • Daniel P Aldrich, Northeastern University
Abstract
Research underscoring the critical nature of social capital and collective action during crises often overlooks the ways that social ties interact with vulnerability factors such as age and socioeconomic status. We use three different data structures and five types of regression models to study mortality rates across 542 inundated neighborhoods from nearly 40 cities, towns, and villages in Japan's Tohoku region which was flooded by the 11 March 2011 tsunami. Controlling for factors thought important in past studies - including geographic administrative, and demographic conditions - we find that social capital interacts with age and socioeconomic status to strongly correlate with mortality at the neighborhood level. For the elderly and those with lower socioeconomic status, ceteris paribus, deeper reservoirs of social capital are linked with lower levels of mortality. While most societies invest heavily in physical infrastructure to mitigate future shocks, this paper reinforces the growing call for spending on social infrastructure to develop communities which can cooperate and collaborate during crises. For the elderly and poor, social ties can serve as a literal lifeline during times of need.
Keywords
  • social capital,
  • vulnerability,
  • tsunami,
  • mortality,
  • disaster,
  • socioeconomic status,
  • quantitative
Publication Date
May 5, 2019
Citation Information
Maoxin Ye and Daniel P Aldrich. "Substitute or Complement? How Social Capital, Age, and SES Interacted to Impact Mortality in Japan's 3/11 Tsunami" Social Science and Medicine: Population Health (2019)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/daniel_aldrich/49/