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Factors affecting risk mitigation revisited: the case of earthquake in Turkey

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This paper investigates the effects of earthquake risk perceptions and a number of socioeconomic variables on risk mitigation. The effects of perceived risk components (probability and severity) and perceived risk characteristics (dread, knowledge, controllability, and responsibility) are investigated jointly in a single model, together with degree of risk aversion and socioeconomic factors (income, gender, age, education, and number of children). Analyses are conducted separately in order to explain variability in five different forms of mitigation behaviors: (1) purchasing of compulsory earthquake insurance, (2) past mitigation behaviors, (3) monetary value of past mitigation behaviors, (4) intentions for future mitigation behaviors, and (5) monetary value of intended future mitigation behaviors. Data are obtained from homeowners in Istanbul, where a major earthquake is expected within 30 years. The results provide evidence that all three variable sets (risk components, risk characteristics, and socioeconomic variables) may act as significant determinants of mitigation and that the driving factors for mitigation may differ across forms of mitigation behaviors investigated. The study (1) provides partial explanation for the equivocal findings in prior research regarding the relationship between risk perceptions and mitigation behaviors, and (2) offers guidelines for policy-makers in motivating communal earthquake risk mitigation.
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Keywords: earthquake risk; hazard adjustment; risk; risk management; risk mitigation; risk perception

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Business Administration, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey 2: Department of Management, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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