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Mortality, the Family and the Indian Ocean Tsunami


Frankenberg, Elizabeth; Gillespie, Thomas W.; Preston, Samuel H.; Sikoki, Bondan; & Thomas, Duncan (2011). Mortality, the Family and the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The Economic Journal, 121(554), F162-82. PMCID: PMC4389648


Over 130,000 people died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The correlates of survival are examined using data from the Study of the Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery (STAR), a population-representative survey collected in Aceh and North Sumatra, Indonesia, before and after the tsunami. Children, older adults and females were the least likely to survive. Whereas socio-economic factors mattered relatively little, the evidence is consistent with physical strength playing a role. Pre-tsunami household composition is predictive of survival and suggests that stronger members sought to help weaker members: men helped their wives, parents and children, while women helped their children.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

The Economic Journal


Frankenberg, Elizabeth
Gillespie, Thomas W.
Preston, Samuel H.
Sikoki, Bondan
Thomas, Duncan