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Going Home after Hurricane Katrina: Determinants of Return Migration and Changes in Affected Areas

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  • Jeffrey A. Groen

    ()
    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Anne E. Polivka

    ()
    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines the decision of Hurricane Katrina evacuees to return to their pre- Katrina areas and documents how the composition of the Katrina-affected region changed over time. Using data from the Current Population Survey, we show that an evacuee’s age and the severity of damage in an evacuee’s county of origin are important determinants of whether an evacuee returned during the first year after the storm. Blacks were less likely to return than whites, but this difference is primarily related to the geographical pattern of storm damage rather than to race per se. The difference between the composition of evacuees who returned and the composition of evacuees who did not return is the primary force behind changes in the composition of the affected areas in the first two years after the storm. Katrina is associated with substantial shifts in the racial composition of the affected areas (namely a decrease in the percentage of residents who are black) and an increasing presence of Hispanics. Katrina is also associated with an increase in the percentage of older residents, a decrease in the percentage of residents with low income/education, and an increase in the percentage of residents with high income/education.

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    File URL: http://www.bls.gov/ore/pdf/ec090060.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its series Working Papers with number 428.

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    Length: 57 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec090060

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    Related research

    Keywords: Hurricane Katrina; Geographic Mobility; Return Migration; Disasters;

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    References

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    1. 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.
    2. Christina Paxson & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2008. "Returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 38-42, May.
    3. Craig E. Landry & Okmyung Bin & Paul Hindsley & John C. Whitehead & Kenneth Wilson, 2007. "Going Home: Evacuation-Migration Decisions of Hurricane Katrina Survivors," Working Papers 07-03, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    4. Christina Paxson & Cecilia Rouse, 2008. "Returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina," Working Papers 1126, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    5. Julie DaVanzo & Peter Morrison, 1981. "Return and other sequences of migration in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 85-101, February.
    6. Borjas, George J. & Bronars, Stephen G. & Trejo, Stephen J., 1992. "Self-selection and internal migration in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-185, September.
    7. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
    8. Jeffrey A. Groen & Anne E. Polivka, 2008. "The Effect of Hurricane Katrina on the Labor Market Outcomes of Evacuees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 43-48, May.
    9. Jeffrey A. Groen & Anne E. Polivka, 2008. "The Effect of Hurricane Katrina on the Labor Market Outcomes of Evacuees," Working Papers 415, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    10. Jacob Vigdor, 2008. "The Economic Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 135-54, Fall.
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