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When a large-scale disaster hits a community, especially a water-related disaster, there is a scarcity of automobiles and a sudden increase in the demand for used cars in the damaged areas. This paper conducts a case study of a recent massive natural disaster, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 to understand those car scarcities and demand in the aftermath of the catastrophe. We analyze the reasons for the increase in demand for used cars and how social media can predict people’s demand for used automobiles. In other words, this paper explores whether social media data can be used as a sensor of socio-economic recovery status in damaged areas during large-scale water-related disaster-recovery phases. For this purpose, we use social media communication as a proxy for estimating indicators of people’s activities in the real world. This study conducts both qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. For the qualitative research, we carry out semi-structured interviews with used-car dealers in the tsunami-stricken area and unveil why people in the area demanded used cars. For the quantitative analysis, we collected Facebook page communication data and used-car market data before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. By combining and analyzing these two types of data, we find that social media communication correlates with people’s activities in the real world. Furthermore, this study suggests that different types of communication on social media have different types of correlations with people’s activities. More precisely, we find that social media communication related to people’s activities for rebuilding and for emotional support is positively correlated with the demand for used cars after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. On the other hand, communication about anxiety and information seeking correlates negatively with the demand for used cars.
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- A Statistical Analysis Between Consumer Behavior and a Social Network Service: A Case Study of Used-Car Demand Following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011
- Springer Japan
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