An increasing number of studies analyze the relationship between natural disaster damage and income levels, but they do not consider the distinction between public and private disaster mitigation. This paper empirically distinguishes these two types of mitigation using Japanese prefectural panel data from 1975 to 2007. Our results show that public mitigation rather than private mitigation has contributed to mitigating the total damage resulting from natural disasters. Our estimation of cost-benefit ratios for each prefecture confirms that the mitigation efforts of urban prefectures are less effective than those of rural prefectures in focusing on both large and frequent/small disasters. Hence, urban prefectures need to reassess their public mitigation measures. Furthermore, to lessen the damage resulting from extreme catastrophes, policy makers are required to invest in improved mitigation infrastructures when faced with a high probability of disasters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas