IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Hurricane Iniki: measuring the long-term economic impact of a natural disaster using synthetic control

Listed author(s):
  • Coffman, Makena
  • Noy, Ilan
Registered author(s):

The long-term impacts of disasters are ‘hidden’ as it becomes increasingly difficult over time to attribute them to a singular event. We use a synthetic control methodology, formalized in Abadie, A. et al. (2010), Synthetic control methods for comparative case studies: estimating the effect of California's tobacco control program, Journal of the American Statistical Association 105 (490): 493–505, to estimate the long-term impacts of a 1992 hurricane on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Hurricane Iniki, the strongest storm to hit Hawaii in many years, wrought an estimated US$ 7.4 billion (2008) in direct damages. Since the unaffected Hawaiian Islands provide a control group, the case of Iniki is uniquely suited to provide insight into the long-term impact of natural disasters. We show that Kauai's economy has yet to recover, 18 years after this event. We estimate the island's current population to be 12 per cent smaller than it would have been had the hurricane not occurred. Similarly, aggregate personal income and the number of private sector jobs are proportionally lower.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to article abstract page
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2012)
Issue (Month): 02 (April)
Pages: 187-205

in new window

Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:17:y:2012:i:02:p:187-205_00
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK

Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:17:y:2012:i:02:p:187-205_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.