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

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  • 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).

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  • 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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    2. Marjorie C. Pajaron & Glacer Niño A. Vasquez, 0. "Weathering the storm: weather shocks and international labor migration from the Philippines," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 0, pages 1-43.
    3. Michel Beine & Lionel Jeusette, 2018. "A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on Climate Change and Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 7417, CESifo.
    4. Hott, Christian & Tran, Thi Xuyen, 2020. "NatCats and Insurance in a Developing Economy - New Theoretical and Empirical Evidence," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224551, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Dagnelie, Olivier & Mayda, Anna Maria & Maystadt, Jean-François, 2019. "The labor market integration of refugees in the United States: Do entrepreneurs in the network help?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 257-272.
    6. Hasan, Iftekhar & Manfredonia, Stefano & Noth, Felix, 2020. "Cultural resilience and economic recovery: Evidence from Hurricane Katrina," IWH Discussion Papers 16/2020, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    7. Marjorie C. Pajaron & Glacer Niño A. Vasquez, 2020. "Weathering the storm: weather shocks and international labor migration from the Philippines," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1419-1461, October.
    8. Collins, William J. & Zimran, Ariell, 2019. "The economic assimilation of Irish Famine migrants to the United States," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    9. Gröger, André, 2021. "Easy come, easy go? Economic shocks, labor migration and the family left behind," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    10. Gröger, André, 2021. "Easy come, easy go? Economic shocks, labor migration and the family left behind," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    11. Yannay Spitzer & Gaspare Tortorici & Ariell Zimran, 2020. "International Migration Responses to Natural Disasters: Evidence from Modern Europe's Deadliest Earthquake," NBER Working Papers 27506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; migrant networks; returns to migration; natural disasters; hurricanes;
    All these keywords.

    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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