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How Hurricanes Affect Employment and Wages in Local Labor Markets

  • Belasen, Ariel R.

    ()

    (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)

  • Polachek, Solomon

    ()

    (Binghamton University, New York)

This paper adopts a generalized-difference-in-difference (GDD) technique outlined in Ariel R. Belasen and Solomon W. Polachek (IZA Discussion Paper #2976) to examine the impact of hurricanes on the labor market. We find that earnings of the average worker in a Florida county rises over 4% within the first quarter of being hit by a major Category 4 or 5 hurricane relative to counties not hit, and rises about 1¼% for workers in Florida counties hit by less major Category 1-3 hurricanes. Concomitantly, employment falls between 1½ and 5% depending on hurricane strength. On the other hand, the effects of hurricanes on neighboring counties have the opposite effects, moving earnings down between 3 and 4% in the quarter the hurricane struck. To better examine the specific shocks, we also observe sectoral employment shifts. Finally, we conduct a time-series analysis and find that over time, there is somewhat of a cobweb with earnings and employment rising and falling each quarter over a two-year time period.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3407.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2008, 98 (2), 49-53
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3407
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  1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Price Expectations and the Phillips Curve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(3), pages 342-50, June.
  2. 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).
  3. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working papers 98-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Paulo Guimaraes & Frank L. Hefner & Douglas P. Woodward, 1993. "Wealth And Income Effects Of Natural Disasters: An Econometric Analysis Of Hurricane Hugo," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 23(2), pages 97-114, Fall.
  5. Alberto Abadie & Alexis Diamond & Jens Hainmueller, 2007. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California's Tobacco Control Program," NBER Technical Working Papers 0335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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