The Impact of Perceived Background Risk on Behavioral Health: Evidence from Hurricane Katrina

17 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018

See all articles by Michael Pesko

Michael Pesko

Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

I explore the hypothesis that Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 raised perceived background risks, which had spillover effects on behavioral health outcomes of mental health and substance use. I estimate the effect that Katrina had in the nondamaged storm surge region, in time intervals leading up to and after the hurricane, compared to areas impervious to hurricanes. I find causal evidence that Katrina increased poor mental health days by 18.8% for the first month after Katrina, and increased smoking among lifetime smokers until 2007. Effects were larger in counties with disproportionate risk to storm surge and for low‐educated individuals.

JEL Classification: D81, I12, Q54

Suggested Citation

Pesko, Michael, The Impact of Perceived Background Risk on Behavioral Health: Evidence from Hurricane Katrina (October 2018). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 56, Issue 4, pp. 2099-2115, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3240844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12583

Michael Pesko (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

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