Natural Disaster, Policy Action, and Mental Well-Being: The Case of Fukushima

44 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2013

See all articles by Jan Goebel

Jan Goebel

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - SOEP

Christian Krekel

Paris School of Economics (PSE); Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), London School of Economics (LSE); World Bank

Tim Tiefenbach

German Institute for Japanese Studies

Nicolas R. Ziebarth

Cornell University

Abstract

We study the impact of the Fukushima disaster on people's mental well‐being in another industrialized country, more than 5000 miles distant. The meltdown significantly increased environmental concerns by 20% among the German population. Subsequent drastic policy action permanently shut down the oldest nuclear reactors, implemented the phase‐out of the remaining ones, and proclaimed the transition to renewables. This energy policy turnaround is largely supported by the population and equalized the increase in mental distress. We estimate that during the 3 months after the meltdown, Fukushima triggered external monetized health costs worth €250 per distressed citizen – particularly among risk averse women.

Keywords: Fukushima, meltdown, nuclear phase‐out, mental health, environmental worries, SOEP

JEL Classification: I18, I31, Z13, Q54

Suggested Citation

Goebel, Jan and Krekel, Christian and Tiefenbach, Tim and Ziebarth, Nicolas R., Natural Disaster, Policy Action, and Mental Well-Being: The Case of Fukushima. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7691, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2345608

Jan Goebel (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - SOEP ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany
+49-30-89789-377 (Phone)
+49-30-89789-200 (Fax)

Christian Krekel

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/en/

Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), London School of Economics (LSE)

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.worldbank.org/

Tim Tiefenbach

German Institute for Japanese Studies ( email )

Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku 102-0074
Japan

Nicolas R. Ziebarth

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.human.cornell.edu/bio.cfm?netid=nrz2

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