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Pre-Disaster Social Capital and Disaster Recovery in Wenchuan Earthquake-Stricken Rural Communities

Jianwen Wei () and Yang Han ()
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Jianwen Wei: China Academy of Social Management/School of Sociology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Yang Han: Department of Sociology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 6, 1-16

Abstract: This study examined the impact of social capital on disaster recovery in the 2008 earthquake-stricken rural communities in Wenchuan, China. The results show that quake-affected households having more social capital recovered more easily and quickly from disasters. A larger network significantly increased the amount of government aid received for housing reconstruction. This indicates that network members assist the quake-affected households to apply for and obtain government aid. These findings imply that social capital, as a kind of non-institutionalized social force, facilitates earthquake-affected households’ recovery from disaster in rural China. Based on these results, this study suggests that policymakers should pay special attention to improving the social capital of existing local households to improve disaster recovery.

Keywords: Wenchuan earthquake; social capital; disaster recovery; rural China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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