This paper explores how and the extent to which social capital has an effect on the damage resulting from natural disasters. It also examines whether the experience of a natural disaster affects individual and collective protection against future disasters. There are three major findings. (1) Social capital reduces the damage caused by natural disasters. (2) The risk of a natural disaster makes people more apt to cooperate and therefore social capital is more effective to prevent disasters. (3) Income is an important factor for reducing damage, but hardly influences it when the scale of a disaster is small.
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