Natural Hazards

, Volume 83, Issue 3, pp 1505–1526 | Cite as

Household vulnerability and economic status during disaster recovery and its determinants: a case study after the Wenchuan earthquake

  • Zhang HuafengEmail author
Original Paper


Although poverty analyses have dominated post-disaster assessments, household vulnerability analyses should receive more attention. Various methods have been developed to measure household vulnerability, and some studies have attempted to apply them to post-disaster assessments in China. Based on survey data collected after the Wenchuan earthquake in China, this paper attempts to compare the following three methods for assessing household vulnerability and household economic status during disaster recovery in China: vulnerability measured by expected poverty (VEP), vulnerability measured by household income (VHI), and vulnerability measured by subjective evaluation (VSE). The VEP method is a relatively more comprehensive method when combined with poverty analysis. The VHI method is useful when the main research aim is to identify households’ vulnerability in income generation and long-term regional economic development. Studies that aim to identify the direct impact of a disaster and research on relief work will find the VSE method very relevant. Bearing this in mind, understanding the specific advantages and focus of each method is crucial to conducting needs-assessment studies on household vulnerability and to forming and implementing policies for disaster recovery and poverty alleviation.


Household vulnerability Post-disaster assessment Poverty Risks 

JEL Classifications

I32 D31 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fafo Research InstituteOsloNorway

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