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Taken by Storm: Hurricanes, Migrant Networks, and U.S. Immigration

Author

Listed:
  • Parag Mahajan
  • Dean Yang

Abstract

How readily do potential migrants respond to increased returns to migration? Even if origin areas become less attractive vis-à-vis migration destinations, fixed costs can prevent increased migration. We examine migration responses to hurricanes, which reduce the attractiveness of origin locations. Restricted-access U.S. Census data allows precise migration measures and analysis of more migrant-origin countries. Hurricanes increase U.S. immigration, with the effect increasing in the size of prior migrant stocks. Large migrant networks reduce fixed costs by facilitating legal immigration from hurricane-affected source countries. Hurricane-induced immigration can be fully accounted for by new legal permanent residents (“green card” holders).

Suggested Citation

  • Parag Mahajan & Dean Yang, 2017. "Taken by Storm: Hurricanes, Migrant Networks, and U.S. Immigration," Working Papers 17-50, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:17-50
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2017/CES-WP-17-50.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Beine & Lionel Jeusette, 2018. "A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on Climate Change and Migration," CREA Discussion Paper Series 18-05, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    2. Dagnelie, Olivier & Mayda, Anna Maria & Maystadt, Jean-François, 2018. "The labor market integration of refugees to the United States: Do entrepreneurs in the network help?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; migrant networks; returns to migration; natural disasters; hurricanes;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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