Explaining the perceived justice of disaster relief policy: An empirical study based on the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China

  • Zhang H
  • 11


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 2


    Citations of this article.


The Chinese government issued generous relief policies after the Wenchuan Earthquake. However, according to my survey, 20.32 per cent (n = 1,949) of the earthquake victim-survivors felt that they were treated unfairly in receiving government assistance after the earthquake. In the present study, a perceived justice framework was established to explain the victim-survivors' perception of justice of the disaster relief policy in China and several hypotheses were developed. The hypotheses were tested empirically using household survey data of the Wenchuan Earthquake. The empirical study found that perceived justice, which is composed of three dimensions (distributive justice, interpersonal justice and informational justice), could directly assess the effect of the disaster relief policy. The results of the empirical study also demonstrated that the most important principle of the disaster relief policy was need distribution', which was also the most important factor of perceived justice. The study concluded that it is imperative to improve victim-survivors' feeling of fairness, policy information delivery and their expectations management when implementing a disaster relief policy.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Disaster relief policy
  • Distributive justice
  • Informational justice
  • Interpersonal justice
  • Perceived justice
  • Wenchuan Earthquake

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Huan Zhang

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free