Do earthquakes make men more risk tolerant?

We investigate whether individuals’ risk preferences change after experiencing a natural disaster, specifically, the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Exploiting the panels of nationally representative surveys on risk preferences, we find that men who experienced greater intensity of the earthquake became more risk tolerant a year after the Earthquake. Interestingly, the effects on men’s risk preferences are persistent even five years after the Earthquake at almost the same magnitude as those shortly after the Earthquake. Furthermore, these men gamble more, which is consistent with the direction of changes in risk preferences. We find no such pattern for women.

That is from a newly published paper by Chie Hanaoka, Hitoshi Shigeoka, and Yasutora Watanabe.  What else will have this effect?


What else will have this effect?

World War One was enormously morally destructive. Everywhere that veterans returned, they caused problems. Extreme problems in Germany and the Soviet Union of course. Mild problems in the US where the return of the KKK had a lot to do with the mobilization for WW1 and may be connected to veterans. Also mild in the UK with the Black and Tans.

Presumably part of the reason for that is that the danger was itself exciting and the veterans missed it, but also perhaps they came to see the quiet routine certainties of Victorian life as empty and hollow. You could kill your fellow men, and on a large scale, and do more than get away with it.

Oddly World War Two does not seem to have had this effect.

Wars seem to make people anti-risk. Flocking to ethnic groups after WWI is am example.

I am really not seeing this. There was some flocking to ethnicity after WW1. Ireland for instance decided to reject the post-Reformation if not post-Renaissance world in favor of a mythical re-imagined medieval Ireland. A case could be made for Turkey, but Turkey's embrace of Attaturk was very much a leap in the dark - ethnicity as a risky proposition.

Who else? Not the Soviet Union. Not most Western intellectuals

Some flocking? What do you think happened after the collapse of the Habsburgs?

Has anybody done such a study of New Yorkers after September 11?

I was around both WTC attacks. Recently, a young FDNY firefighter (lived in my parish/village, left a wife and four young children) was killed in a fire. The funeral mass was celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Reminded me of the nearly 3,000 funerals of civilians, FDNY, NYPD funerals in the months after September 11, 2001.

Subtle: I was about to reply with my experiences growing up with every adult male being an American WWII veteran.

How to explain the different experiences? I dunno. Maybe our men came home to the same place they left. After WWI, Germany and the USSR were fundamentally transformed; and maybe UK to a lesser extent.

My impression of WWI is that 99% of the men that went into the line in August 1914 were killed or disabled by November 1918. The AEF less so. The American doughboys were "in it" for eight or nine months; but Pershing's tactics were highly aggressive and US casualties were relatively high in their short time in the fighting. That being said, none of the US war experiences compared to hells like the Somme and Verdun.

I don't know of any study of 9-11 but I am willing to bet that young Black men who have been shot at in Chicago and Baltimore are prone to short-term horizons and gambling.

It may be that the enormous increase in wealth after WW2 soothed a lot of wounds. At least in America. Perhaps better political leaders?

A lot of Soviet literature talks of men coming back from the war and refusing to settle back into rural life. They preferred riskier lives in urban areas - actually Solzhenitsyn's One Day .... mentions the men who came back and took to flying around the country making a fortune with fake carpets.

"After WWI, Germany and the USSR were fundamentally transformed; and maybe UK to a lesser extent."
Fundamentally changed by Geeman and Russian soldiers rebelling against their officers. It is almost as if lksing a war could affect the moral of military forces, particularly civilians drafted by crazy kings.

The Freikorps helped stave off a communist insurrection in the '20's, did they not? Not sure I'd pin too many of Germany's inter-war troubles on them.

Just remind me: which war Hitler and Göring fought in? And being rejected for war duty as a cripple probably did not do wonders for Goebbels' personality. If the Huns hadn't started a war of aggression, Hitler and Lenin wouldn't have been heard of.

My perspective here is that both the street violence of the '20's and the subsequent ascendancy of the baddies was fueled by the weakness of Weimar state, the wrecked economy, and the ongoing shenanigans of the far left. "Presence of a lot of WWI vets" is pretty low on my list. You are welcome to disagree, but I don't take you very seriously in the first place, so it matters little.

Yeah, it must have been a coincidence that the Nazi movement was staffed with lots of WWI veterans. Some should verify if WWII had something to do with Hiroshima. Maybe Martians nuked the city from the space while the Enola Gay was flying over. Maybe Paul Tibbets got undeserved credit. We may never know.

13.5 million Germans served in the Army during WWI. In the '20's the SA numbered a few tens of thousands.

"In the ’20’s the SA numbered a few tens of thousands." And they were of Hitlers levels to take over. Also, there were millions of WWI veterans ready to support the Nazis against Weimar and the Communists. It is really hard to argue against basic cause and effect.

Plenty of mob violence has broken out in weak states in times of peace. The weak state is the crucial variable, not the presence or not of a large number of war veterans.

"Plenty of mob violence has broken out in weak states in times of peace."

Yet, how many of those weak states became Nazi Germany? In Russia, the old refime collpsed as soon as peasants redused to fight went back to home to take land from the landowners or big cities' troops started support the Bolsheviks.
In Germany, extrwmism advanced little by little, patiently as Hitler and his veteran pals won the trust of the populace.

Because communist insurrections, German democracy, and Great Depressions were a new thing in 1930.

So was Nazi-Fascism. Nazi-Fascism was the specific answer of men forged by the war and desperate for action. Mussolini fought at the war. So did Hitler. So did Göring. Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and their friends did not fought. The Bolshevik with more military cred before Trotsky took over the Red Army and employed czarist experts was a liutenant or something like that.

Wow, interesting! So California really might be the right place for risk-taking.

Even smarter is to do what Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel did: put gambling operations in Las Vegas, so Angelenos can satisfy their risk-taking urges there. But when the Big One hits, LA will be a shambles but LV will still be standing.

I ask you all to write your Representatives and Senators and ask them to support Senator John Cornyn and his crusade to help Taiwan (Formosa) to resist Red China's aggression. It is important. It is the Danzig of our times. Let us not allow it to become the Munich of our times.

I suppose this is good news for those who wish to sell their homes in hurricane, fire, or earthquake prone areas. I listened to an NPR segment on new development in Northern California and the number of buyers far exceeds supply of new houses being built, with local politicians wholeheartedly approving construction in areas that only a few months before were ablaze. My explanation is short memories (and attention) not increased levels of risk tolerance.

Are they really more risk tolerant or is it not that their perception of risks have changed their better informed perspective? Like "Really, what is this risk compared to an earthquake?

"Manful" work down the p-mines, this time, leads to p<0.05 among men but not women. I wonder was that the H_1 they went in with?

Tyler has few blind spots, but an inability to recognize research plagued by forking paths is one of them.

Personally, I became incredibly risk-averse after living through the Great Recession. I'm told the "Greatest Generation" had a similar response to the Great Depression. I wonder what makes a physical disaster different from an economic disaster.

Did the Greatest Generarion become more risk-averse in general or just in money matters (more parsimonious, more averse to changing jobs and opening. business)? I doubt they were less likely to confront a possibly armed hooligan than the Silent Generation.

Maybe because governments subsidize risk-taking after catastrophic events. Not sure how it applies to men only, though war is also a government-subsidized activity.

I don't see how it can be risky. I am well-over duty age. Althought I woukd gladly volunteer to destroy Paraguay.

Interesting article highlighting Brazil in today's WSJ, discussing the present and impending problems at the intersection of of demographic change and public entitlements expansion. Sounds pretty bad, and on track to get much worse.

"Chronic housing shortages have left every major city dotted with makeshift settlements known as favelas. São Paulo’s subways have one-fifth the mileage of New York’s, although São Paulo has 40% more people. Nationally, more than half of sewage goes untreated. The average adult has just eight years of formal schooling.

Tackling such growth-impeding problems has long been a government priority, but the financial firepower for it is set to erode. Retirement outlays already eat up 43% of Brazil’s national budget, and health care about 7%, while two expenditures that are critical to economic development—education and infrastructure—claim only about 3% each."

Those problems can and will be solved. Brazil is a dynamic land of opportunities. Deep social and economic reforms proceed at neckbreaking speeds. The labor law reform has succeed beyondour wildest dreams. Representative Bolsonaro is leading the polls. The economy ia growing again. It's morning in Brazil.

You misspelled "mourning"

No, I am talking about the dawn.

Seems to me weak to generalize about the effects of a shock in general. Can we really say that all nuclear disasters will make people more risk tolerant? In what context? Given what cultural -- and dare I say, genetic -- backgrounds? What other factors conspired to make this the net response?

IF there're any of these one-time-result papers that should be subject to the critique of generalizability, this is it.

And by "nuclear" I mean intense severe shocks -- like earthquakes but also like war.

Paywalled. Is this an increase in 'risk tolerance', or an increase in temporal discounting...? Increases in gambling doesn't sound like a positive change. (Would we find more drug consumption, like alcohol or tobacco, as well?)

Why do we care exactly?

Wow, interesting! So California really might be the right place for risk-taking.

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