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The Economic Growth Impact of Hurricanes: Evidence from US Coastal counties

  • Eric Strobl

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)

We estimate for the first time the impact of hurricane strikes on local economic growth rates and how this is reflected in more aggregate growth patterns. To this end we assemble a panel data set of US 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. Our econometric results suggest that in response to a hurricane strike a county's annual economic growth rate will initially fall by 0.8, but then partially recover by 0.2 percentage points. While the pattern is qualitatively similar at the state level, the net effect over the long term is negligible. Hurricane strikes do not appear to be economically important enough to be reflected in national economic growth rates.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00392382.

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Date of creation: 07 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00392382
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  1. Evans, Richard W. & Hu, Yingyao & Zhao, Zhong, 2007. "The Fertility Effect of Catastrophe: U.S. Hurricane Births," IZA Discussion Papers 2975, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  4. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2003. "Growth and Convergence across the U.S.: Evidence from County-level Data," Emory Economics 0306, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
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  9. Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2008. "The Re-Building Effect of Hurricanes: Evidence from Employment in the US Construction Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 3544, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  11. 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).
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  13. Belasen, Ariel R. & Polachek, Solomon, 2007. "How Disasters Affect Local Labor Markets: The Effects of Hurricanes in Florida," IZA Discussion Papers 2976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
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  17. 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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