The role of insurance in business recovery after a natural disaster: The case of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake
We aim to investigate the role of insurance in business recovery following the devastating Christchurch earthquake in February, 22nd, 2011. We analyze data from two business surveys conducted after the earthquake to examine how insurance affected business operation in the aftermath of the earthquake both in the short-term and longer-term. For the short-term analysis, we use a combination of propensity score matching (PSM) and linear probability model (LPM) to analyze the data. We first estimate the propensity scores for insurance take-up of each firm conditional on the firm’s individual characteristics. Stratification based on the estimated propensity scores is used to match the treated (insured) and the control (uninsured) firms. We then estimate the probability of firms’ continuing operations with a set of control variables to account for the level of damage and disruption caused by the quake in each stratum. We find little evidence of any beneficial effect of insurance coverage on business continuity in the short-run. For the longer-term analysis, we analyze the available survey data using logistic regression. The result suggests that business interruption insurance significantly promotes increased level of long-term productivity for surviving firms following the earthquake.