The Economic Impact of Migrants from Hurricane Maria

72 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Giovanni Peri

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Derek Rury

University of California, Davis

Justin Wiltshire

University of California, Davis

Abstract

Using a synthetic control estimation strategy we examine the economic impact of a large inflow of people from Puerto Rico into Orlando in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017. We find that aggregate employment in Orlando increased as a result of the inflow, as did employment in the construction and retail sectors. We also find positive overall employment effects on non-Hispanic and less-educated workers, as well as positive effects on compensation for those same subgroups in the retail sector.In the construction sector – which absorbed the preponderance of this migrant labor supply shock – we find that earnings for non-Hispanic and less-educated (workers likely to be natives) decreased by a modest amount. These results together suggest that, while migrant inflows may have small negative impacts on the earnings of likely-native workers in sectors directly exposed to the labor supply shock, employment and earnings of likely-native workers in other sectors are positively impacted, possibly by increased local demand.

Keywords: migration, natural disasters, local economies

JEL Classification: F22, J15, J21, J61

Suggested Citation

Peri, Giovanni and Rury, Derek and Wiltshire, Justin, The Economic Impact of Migrants from Hurricane Maria. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13049, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3562839

Giovanni Peri (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
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Derek Rury

University of California, Davis

One Shields Avenue
Apt 153
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Justin Wiltshire

University of California, Davis

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