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The Economic Growth Impact of Hurricanes: Evidence from U.S. Coastal Counties

  • Eric Strobl

    (Ecole Polytechnique Paris)

I estimate the impact of hurricane strikes on local economic growth rates. To this end, I assemble a panel data set of U.S. coastal counties' growth rates and construct a novel hurricane destruction index that is based on a monetary loss equation, local wind speed estimates derived from a physical wind field model, and local exposure characteristics. The econometric results suggest that a county's annual economic growth rate falls on average by 0.45 percentage points, 28%% of it due to richer individuals moving away from affected counties. I also find that the impact of hurricanes is netted out in annual terms at the state level and does not affect national economic growth rates at all. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 575-589

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:2:p:575-589
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  1. Rappaport, Jordan & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 2003. " The United States as a Coastal Nation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
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  9. Eric Strobl & Frank Walsh, 2009. "The Re-Building Effect of Hurricanes: Evidence from Employment in the US Construction Industry," Working Papers hal-00393886, HAL.
  10. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2005. "Economic Development and the Impacts of Natural Disasters," Working Papers 05-04, UW-Whitewater, Department of Economics.
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  13. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
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  15. Horwich, George, 2000. "Economic Lessons of the Kobe Earthquake," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(3), pages 521-42, April.
  16. Belasen, Ariel R. & Polachek, Solomon, 2008. "How Hurricanes Affect Employment and Wages in Local Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 3407, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
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