Due to the lack of earthquake-resistant rural houses, small and medium earthquakes caused massive casualties in rural China. In 2004, China began implementing the Earthquake Rural Housing Safety Project Policy (ERHSPP) to reduce earthquake losses, mainly promoting the adoption of earthquake-resistant structures in rural residents’ self-built houses through subsidies, training of construction craftsmen, and provision of earthquake-resistant housing drawings. We conducted a field survey, collecting 1169 rural households in Pingliang, Gansu Province, and 1501 rural households in Yuxi, Yunnan Province, China. We studied Earthquake-Resistant Construction Behaviors (E-RCB) by the logistic and the ordered logistic regression models. Results show that government housing subsidy promotes E-RCB of rural households; E-RCB was affected by ERHSPP, positively correlated with economic status and housing earthquake damage; E-RCB was negatively correlated with structure danger, house age, and earthquake experience; and housing earthquake damage, not earthquake experience, strikingly promoted E-RCB in rural China. The results could provide suggestions in communication risk strategies for the government. We suggest the local government should promote local acceptable disaster propaganda, provide hierarchical housing subsidies, pay attention to housing seismic supervision, publish earthquake-resistant housing design drawings, and conduct more earthquake-resistant technical training for rural craftsmen.
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