Natural disasters and indicators of social cohesion
Do adversarial environmental conditions create social cohesion? We provide new answersto this question by exploiting spatial and temporal variation in exposure to earthquakesacross Chile. Using a variety of methods and controlling for a number of socio-economicvariables, we find that exposure to earthquakes has a positive effect on several indicators ofsocial cohesion. Social cohesion increases after a big earthquake and slowly erodes in periodswhere environmental conditions are less adverse. Our results contribute to the currentdebate on whether and how environmental conditions shape formal and informalinstitutions.