June 2, 2017
Talk will cover:
- Motivation and Research Question
- Empirical Strategy
- Economic Relevance
Motivation and Research Question
Growing Risks of Natural Disasters
- Climate change implies more frequent and more damaging disasters (Van Aalst 2006)
- Disasters do not discriminate with respect to wealth, but institutions and wealth helps mitigate deaths (Kahn 2005)
- Growing fiscal and social costs within the United States
- More frequent FEMA disaster declarations
- Higher federal costs for declared disasters
- Non-disaster government transfers increases may understate true cost (Deryugina 2016)
Out of the Frying Pan?
- Some evidence that people move after big disasters
- Boustan et al. (2017)
- Carleton and Hsiang (2016)
- Rational actors respond to disasters by moving to new locations
- Because their homes are destroyed?
- Because the local economy is harmed?
- Because they have updated their priors about risks?
- Move people out of dangerous areas, but does this lower future disaster costs?
- All else equal, higher exposure areas should see lower migration rates
And Into the Fire?
- Disaster exposure is spatially correlated
- Disasters are negative income shocks and long moves are costly
- People tend to move relatively short distances
- If disasters induce shorter moves, migration may not lower future disaster costs
- Shorter moves may not lower costs
- Key question: where do disaster migrants locate to?
- And does migration mitigate impacts of disasters or simply rearrange the deck chairs?
- Category 3 Hurricane at landing (sustained winds of 100–140 miles per hour)
- Landed 25 August 2005 in Louisiana
- Total damage estimated at $108 billion (Knobb, Rhome, and Brown 2005)
- Deaths appear to be at least 1,500 (Beven et al. 2008)
- Triggered response of over $5.7 billion in FEMA disaster relief
How Did Katrina Affect New Orleans Migrants?
- Data from IRS county-to-county migration used, tracks filed tax returns at FIPS code from year to year
- Typical outmigration from New Orleans area from 2000 to 2010 excluding 2005 averaged 21,482 outmigrants per year (average population of 1,421,693)
- Parishes - Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany, and Terrebonne
- Fairly stable spatial distribution - nearby and large metro regions
- In 2005, total of 181,854 outmigrants
- Similar spatial pattern exists plus evident overflow