Drawing on socio-psychology and economics literature contributions, this paper provides an original conceptual framework examining whether and how natural disasters exert any influence on nuptiality. Scholars suggest that disasters remind people about the transience of life and mortality. This feature triggers shifting towards intrinsic meaningful goals - such as commitment to relationships; at the same time, it fosters people's proximity and support-seeking from their security providing attachment figures and leads to accelerate life transition choices. In this view, disasters are expected to positively impact on people's intentions to marry. Such an effect is evident in case of natural hazards determining slight damage to physical capital (buildings, productive locations, etc.) which have limited economic consequences that do not hamper marriage intentions. Meanwhile, in the case of highly disruptive disasters, these positive psychological pushes are counterbalanced or even exceeded by the negative economic consequences of the disaster, which inhibit marriage intentions. These predictions are supported by an empirical analysis that relies on a difference-in-differences investigation of municipality-level nuptiality data collected in the Abruzzo region of Italy before and after the major 2009 L'Aquila earthquake.

The effect of natural disasters on nuptiality: evidence from L'Aquila earthquake (Italy)

Salvatore Ercolano;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Drawing on socio-psychology and economics literature contributions, this paper provides an original conceptual framework examining whether and how natural disasters exert any influence on nuptiality. Scholars suggest that disasters remind people about the transience of life and mortality. This feature triggers shifting towards intrinsic meaningful goals - such as commitment to relationships; at the same time, it fosters people's proximity and support-seeking from their security providing attachment figures and leads to accelerate life transition choices. In this view, disasters are expected to positively impact on people's intentions to marry. Such an effect is evident in case of natural hazards determining slight damage to physical capital (buildings, productive locations, etc.) which have limited economic consequences that do not hamper marriage intentions. Meanwhile, in the case of highly disruptive disasters, these positive psychological pushes are counterbalanced or even exceeded by the negative economic consequences of the disaster, which inhibit marriage intentions. These predictions are supported by an empirical analysis that relies on a difference-in-differences investigation of municipality-level nuptiality data collected in the Abruzzo region of Italy before and after the major 2009 L'Aquila earthquake.
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/174023
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