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The Economic Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Its Victims: Evidence from Individual Tax Returns

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  • Tatyana Deryugina
  • Laura Kawano
  • Steven Levitt

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina destroyed over 200,000 homes and led to massive economic and physical dislocation. Using a panel of tax return data, we provide one of the first comprehensive analyses of the hurricane's long-term economic impact on its victims. Hurricane Katrina had large and persistent impacts on where people live, but small and surprisingly transitory effects on employment and income. Within just a few years, Katrina victims' incomes actually surpass that of controls from similar unaffected cities. The strong economic performance of Hurricane Katrina victims is particularly remarkable given that the hurricane struck with essentially no warning.

Suggested Citation

  • Tatyana Deryugina & Laura Kawano & Steven Levitt, 2018. "The Economic Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Its Victims: Evidence from Individual Tax Returns," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 202-233, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:202-33
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20160307
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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