Price School Research Professor Adam Rose was quoted in the segment on the National Public Radio Planet Money podcast on July 9, “Is LA Ready for a Big Earthquake?” The quote stemmed from an earlier interview with the podcast’s producer, Jacob Margolis, which covered several topics related to economic consequences of major earthquake events. Rose noted that a major earthquake affecting the Los Angeles area would likely send it into a recession. He noted, however, that the impacts would not be as large as many others had predicted, due to the resilience of many economic sectors (defined in this context as implementing tactics, such as using inventories, relocating and rescheduling production, that can reduce business interruption after the earthquake has struck). Rose cited research he had done on a METRANS study in conjunction with Price School Research Associate Professor Dan Wei and former CREATE post-doc and current Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University Zhenhua Chen on impacts of a major disruption of the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Wei and Rose are currently working with USC Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Chair Lucio Soibelman and one of his PhD students Eyup Koc on a follow-up METRANS study on the distributional impacts of the major port disruption across socioeconomic groups.
The podcast also quoted estimates of the total economic impacts of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on the Southern San Andreas Fault (the original “ShakeOut” scenario), based on a study that Rose, Wei and US Geological Survey social scientist Anne Wein had performed several years earlier. The study found that property damage would likely exceed $100 billion and business interruption losses (measured in terms of a reduction in gross regional product) would be of about $67 billion (in 2009 constant dollars). The three researchers, together with Boston University economic geography professor Ian Sue Wing, are also the authors of a similar, soon to be released study of a major earthquake on the Hayward Fault in the East Bay Area of California focusing on the impacts on the electricity and cyber networks. Rose and other researchers completed a study several years ago as well on the economic impacts of a Verdugo Earthquake (centered a few miles northeast of downtown LA) affecting the city’s water system and its ripple effects throughout the regional economy, which also included an assessment of the impact dampening effects of potential resilience tactics by LADWP’s customers.
The podcast can be found at: https://www.npr.org/2019/07/09/740016716/is-la-ready-for-a-big-earthquake
In addition to having done research on economic consequence of and resilience to earthquakes, Professor Rose has also done research on earthquake mitigation and government assistance. He served as the research team leader of the Mitigation Saves report to Congress, and is an advisor on some of the modules of the Mitigation Saves 2 study currently underway. Rose also led a team of Price School faculty Wei, Jonathan Eyer, Detlof von Winterfeldt and Raphael Bostic, as well as University of New Mexico economics professor Philip Ganderton, on a study to support the establishment of a deductible/credit system for FEMA Public Assistance, which is oriented primarily to post-disaster reconstruction and mitigation against future disasters.