The effect of natural disasters on economic activity in US counties: A century of data

Leah Platt Boustan, Matthew E. Kahn, Paul W. Rhode, Maria Lucia Yanguas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

More than 100 natural disasters strike the United States every year, causing extensive fatalities and damages. We construct the universe of US federally designated natural disasters from 1920 to 2010. We find that severe disasters increase out-migration rates at the county level by 1.5 percentage points and lower housing prices/rents by 2.5–5.0 percent. The migration response to milder disasters is smaller but has been increasing over time. The economic response to disasters is most consistent with falling local productivity and labor demand. Disasters that convey more information about future disaster risk increase the pace of out-migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103257
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Volume118
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies

Keywords

  • Housing markets
  • Migration
  • Natural disasters

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