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Adjusting to natural disasters

  • V. Smith

    ()

  • Jared Carbone
  • Jaren Pope
  • Daniel Hallstrom
  • Michael Darden

People adjust to the risks presented by natural disasters in a number of ways; they can move out of harms way, they can self protect, or they can insure. This paper uses Hurricane Andrew, the largest U.S. natural disaster prior to Katrina, to evaluate how people and housing markets respond to a large disaster. Our analysis combines a unique ex post database on the storm’s damage along with information from the 1990 and 2000 Censuses in Dade County, Florida where the storm hit. The results suggest that the economic capacity of households to adjust explains most of the differences in demographic groups’ patterns of adjustment to the hurricane damage. Low income households respond primarily by moving into low-rent housing in areas that experienced heavy damage. Middle income households move away to avoid risk, and the wealthy, for whom insurance and self-protection are most affordable, appear to remain. This pattern of adjustment with respect to income is roughly mean neutral, so an analysis based on measures of central tendency such as median income would miss these important adjustments. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11166-006-0170-0
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 33 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 37-54

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:33:y:2006:i:1:p:37-54
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100299

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  1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  2. Coulson, N Edward & Bond, Eric W, 1990. "A Hedonic Approach to Residential Succession," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 433-44, August.
  3. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  4. Jared Carbone & Daniel Hallstrom & V. Smith, 2006. "Can Natural Experiments Measure Behavioral Responses to Environmental Risks?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(3), pages 273-297, 03.
  5. Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography, and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 271-284, May.
  6. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. James Chivers & Nicholas E. Flores, 2002. "Market Failure in Information: The National Flood Insurance Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(4), pages 515-521.
  8. repec:reg:rpubli:134 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Paul Krugman, 1998. "Space: The Final Frontier," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 161-174, Spring.
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