Great East Japan Earthquake and Risk Management for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
 -How Do Japanese SMEs Prepare against Natural Disasters?-


We conducted a questionnaire survey regarding insurance and risk management of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) all over Japan in 2014. Based on that survey, this research examined who prepared less against natural disasters before the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and how seriously Japanese SMEs with poor risk management were affected by the earthquake. We find that SMEs in a weaker financial condition tended to take fewer measures against earthquakes before the Great East Japan Earthquake. We also find that companies in a weaker financial condition tend to prepare less for earthquake risks even after the Great Earthquake. Furthermore, we find that direct damages from the Great East Japan Earthquake were more serious for SMEs with poor risk management than for those with sound risk management.


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Earthquake insurance, Risk management, Natural disasters

JEL Classification

G22, G31


Nobuyoshi YAMORI
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
E-mail: yamori@rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp

Yoshihiro ASAI
Faculty of Faculty of Commerce, Meiji University
California State University, Northridge, USA