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Going Home: Evacuation-Migration Decisions of Hurrican Katrina Survivors

Author

Listed:
  • Craig E. Landry

    () (Department of Economics and Center for Natural Hazards Research, East Carolina University)

  • Okmyung Bin

    (Department of Economics, East Carolina University)

  • Paul Hindsley

    (Coastal Resources Management, Center for Natual Hazard Research, East Carolina University)

  • John C. Whitehead

    (Department of Economics, Appalachian State University)

  • Kenneth Wilson

    (Department of Sociology, East Carolina University)

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 postdisaster Gulf region—which we call the “return migration” decision. We estimate two separate return migration models, first using 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; and employment, marital, and home ownership status, but the results depend on the population under consideration. We find no effect of “connection to place” on the return migration decision. Although the effect of income is relatively small within subsamples, we find a much higher proportion of middle income households planning to return than lower income households when comparing across the subsamples. In addition, 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 (WTP) to return home. Average WTP to return home for a sample of relatively poor households is estimated at $1.94 per hour or $3954 per year.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig E. Landry & Okmyung Bin & Paul Hindsley & John C. Whitehead & Kenneth Wilson, 2007. "Going Home: Evacuation-Migration Decisions of Hurrican Katrina Survivors," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 326-343, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:74:1:y:2007:p:326-343
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Greenwood, Michael J, et al, 1991. "Migration, Regional Equilibrium, and the Estimation of Compensating Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1382-1390, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Meri Davlasheridze & Qin Fan, 2017. "Household Adjustments to Hurricane Katrina," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 47(1), pages 92-112, Winter.
    3. 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, June.
    4. Ariel R. Belasen & Solomon W. Polachek, 2013. "Natural disasters and migration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 17, pages 309-330 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Alistair Munro & Shunsuke Managi, 2017. "Going Back: Radiation and Intentions to Return amongst Households Evacuated after the Great Tohoku Earthquake," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 77-93, June.
    6. repec:spr:ediscc:v:1:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s41885-017-0003-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Daniel Felsenstein & Michal Lichter, 2014. "Social and economic vulnerability of coastal communities to sea-level rise and extreme flooding," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 71(1), pages 463-491, March.
    8. repec:eee:regeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:12-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Mohammad Sanaei & Shinya Horie & Shunsuke Managi, 2016. "Job Opportunity And Ownership Status: Return Decision After The Great East Japan Earthquake And Tsunami," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(01), pages 1-16, March.
    10. Bradley T. Ewing & Jamie B. Kruse & Mark A. Thompson, 2010. "Measuring the Regional Economic Response to Hurricane Katrina," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(2), pages 80-85, July.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Richard Cebula & Usha Nair-Reichert, 2012. "Migration and public policies: a further empirical analysis," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 36(1), pages 238-248, January.
    15. 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: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 65(3), pages 2267-2286, February.
    16. Thompson Mark A, 2009. "Hurricane Katrina and Economic Loss: An Alternative Measure of Economic Activity," Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 1-11, April.
    17. Narayan Sastry & Jesse Gregory, 2014. "The Location of Displaced New Orleans Residents in the Year After Hurricane Katrina," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(3), pages 753-775, June.
    18. Morteza Chalak & Veronique Florec & Atakelty Hailu & Fiona Gibson & David Pannell, 2017. "Integrating non-market values in economic analyses of flood mitigation: a case study of the Brown Hill and Keswick creeks catchment in Adelaide," Working Papers 256513, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    19. Richard J. Cebula & J. R. Clark, 2013. "An extension of the Tiebout hypothesis of voting with one's feet: the Medicaid magnet hypothesis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(32), pages 4575-4583, November.
    20. 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. 0(Issue 1), pages 1-12.
    21. 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.
    22. De Alwis, Diana, 2018. "Distributional impacts of disaster recovery: Sri Lankan households a decade after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami," Working Paper Series 6980, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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