The Effect of Natural Disasters on Economic Activity in Us Counties: A Century of Data
46 Pages Posted: 18 May 2017 Last revised: 22 May 2017
Date Written: May 2017
More than 100 natural disasters strike the United States every year, causing extensive property destruction and loss of life. We construct an 80 year panel data set that includes the universe of natural disasters in the United States from 1930 to 2010 and study how these shocks affected migration rates, home prices, and poverty rates at the county level. Severe disasters increased out-migration rates by 1.5 percentage points and lowered housing prices/rents by 2.5–5.0 percent, but milder disasters had little effect on economic outcomes.
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