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Going Home: Evacuation-Migration Decisions of Hurricane Katrina Survivors

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  • Craig E. Landry
  • Okmyung Bin
  • Paul Hindsley
  • John C. Whitehead
  • Kenneth Wilson

Abstract

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many evacuees from the Gulf region began the difficult process of deciding whether to rebuild or restart elsewhere. We examine pre-Katrina Gulf residents’ decision to return to the post-disaster Gulf region—which we call the “return migration” decision. We estimate two separate return migration models, first utilizing data from a mail survey of individuals in the affected region and then focusing on self-administered questionnaires of evacuees in Houston. Our results indicate that return migration can be affected by household income; age; education level; employment, marital and home ownership status; but the results depend upon the population under consideration. We find no impact of “connection to place” on the return migration decision. While the impact of income is relatively small, we find that the real wage differential between home and host region influences the likelihood of return. Larger implicit costs, in terms of foregone wages for returning, induce a lower likelihood of return. Exploiting this difference at the individual level, we are able to produce estimates of willingness to pay to return home. Average WTP to return home for a sample of relatively poor households is estimated at $1.94 per hour or $3,954 per year.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Appalachian State University in its series Working Papers with number 07-03.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:07-03

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Web page: http://www.business.appstate.edu/departments/economics/
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  1. Graves, Philip E., 1979. "A life-cycle empirical analysis of migration and climate, by race," MPRA Paper 19921, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  3. John Whitehead, 2005. "Environmental Risk and Averting Behavior: Predictive Validity of Jointly Estimated Revealed and Stated Behavior Data," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(3), pages 301-316, November.
  4. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-19, November.
  5. Greenwood, Michael J. & Hunt, Gary L., 1989. "Jobs versus amenities in the analysis of metropolitan migration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-16, January.
  6. Greenwood, Michael J, 1975. "Research on Internal Migration in the United States: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 397-433, June.
  7. John C. Whitehead & Bob Edwards & Marieke Van Willigen & John R. Maiolo & Kenneth Wilson & Kevin T. Smith, 2000. "“Heading for Higher Ground: Factors Affecting Real and Hypothetical Hurricane Evacuation Behavior,”," Working Papers 0006, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  8. Graves, Philip E., 1980. "Migration and climate," MPRA Paper 19916, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey A. Groen & Anne E. Polivka, 2009. "Going Home after Hurricane Katrina: Determinants of Return Migration and Changes in Affected Areas," Working Papers 428, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  2. Richard J. Cebula & J.R. Clark, 2011. "Migration, Economic Freedom, and Personal Freedom: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 27(Fall 2011), pages 43-62.
  3. Hallegatte, Stephane, 2012. "A cost effective solution to reduce disaster losses in developing countries : hydro-meteorological services, early warning, and evacuation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6058, The World Bank.
  4. Narayan Sastry & Jesse Gregory, 2014. "The Location of Displaced New Orleans Residents in the Year After Hurricane Katrina," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 753-775, June.
  5. Edward P. Stringham & Nicholas A. Snow, 2008. "The broken trailer fallacy: Seeing the unseen effects of government policies in post-Katrina New Orleans," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(7), pages 480-489, July.
  6. Narayan Sastry & Jesse Gregory, 2012. "The Location of Displaced New Orleans Residents in the Year After Hurricane Katrina," Working Papers 12-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Richard Cebula, 2014. "The Impact of Economic Freedom and Personal Freedom on Net In-Migration in the U.S.: A State-Level Empirical Analysis, 2000 to 2010," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 88-103, March.
  8. Daniel Felsenstein & Michal Lichter, 2014. "Social and economic vulnerability of coastal communities to sea-level rise and extreme flooding," Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 71(1), pages 463-491, March.
  9. Laura Siebeneck & Michael Lindell & Carla Prater & Hao-Che Wu & Shih-Kai Huang, 2013. "Evacuees’ reentry concerns and experiences in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike," Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 65(3), pages 2267-2286, February.
  10. Richard Cebula & Usha Nair-Reichert, 2012. "Migration and public policies: a further empirical analysis," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 238-248, January.
  11. Shaughnessy, Timothy M. & White, Mary L. & Brendler, Michael D., 2010. "The Income Distribution Effect of Natural Disasters: An Analysis of Hurricane Katrina," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 40(1).
  12. Bradley T. Ewing & Jamie B. Kruse & Mark A. Thompson, 2010. "Measuring the Regional Economic Response to Hurricane Katrina," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 80-85, 07.

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