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Unhappiness after Hurricane Katrina

Author

Listed:
  • Miles Kimball
  • Helen Levy
  • Fumio Ohtake
  • Yoshiro Tsutsui

Abstract

In August, September and October of 2005, the Monthly Surveys of Consumers fielded by the University of Michigan included questions about the happiness of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. The date of each interview is known. Looking at the data week by week, reported happiness dipped significantly in the first week of September, after the seriousness of the damage done by Katrina became clear. The impulse response of happiness is especially strong in the South Central region, closest to the devastation of Katrina. The dip in happiness lasted two or three weeks in the South Central region; in the rest of the country, reported happiness returned to normal after one or two weeks. In addition to the reaction to Katrina, happiness dipped significantly after the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. These results illustrate the potential of high-frequency happiness data to yield information about preferences over regional, national and international conditions by indicating the magnitude of the good or bad news conveyed by events.

Suggested Citation

  • Miles Kimball & Helen Levy & Fumio Ohtake & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2006. "Unhappiness after Hurricane Katrina," NBER Working Papers 12062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12062
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12062.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tsutsui, Yoshiro & Kimball, Miles & Ohtake, Fumio, 2010. "Koizumi carried the day: Did the Japanese election results make people happy and unhappy?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 12-24, March.
    2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2004. "Subjective Outcomes in Economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 2-11, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Berlemann, Michael, 2016. "Does hurricane risk affect individual well-being? Empirical evidence on the indirect effects of natural disasters," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 99-113.
    2. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2010. "Behavioral welfare economics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 123-151, June.
    3. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Natural disasters and their long-term effect on happiness: the case of the great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake," MPRA Paper 37505, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Ahmadiani, Mona & Ferreira, Susana, 2016. "Well-being Effects of Extreme Weather Events in the US," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236259, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Pesko, Michael, 2014. "Hurricane Katrina: Behavioral Health and Health Insurance in Non-Impacted Vulnerable Counties," MPRA Paper 56205, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Fumio Ohtake & Katsunori Yamada, 2013. "Appraising the Unhappiness due to the Great East Japan Earthquake: Evidence from Weekly Panel Data on Subjective Well-being," ISER Discussion Paper 0876, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    7. Berlemann, Michael, 2015. "Hurricane Risk, Happiness and Life Satisfaction. Some Empirical Evidence on the Indirect Effects of Natural Disasters," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113073, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Chadi, Adrian, 2015. "Concerns about the Euro and happiness in Germany during times of crisis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 126-146.
    9. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2010. "Do People Seek to Maximize Happiness? Evidence from New Surveys," NBER Working Papers 16489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Tsutsui, Yoshiro & Kimball, Miles & Ohtake, Fumio, 2010. "Koizumi carried the day: Did the Japanese election results make people happy and unhappy?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 12-24, March.
    11. repec:eee:japwor:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Georgios Kavetsos, 2012. "National Pride: War Minus the Shooting," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 106(1), pages 173-185, March.
    13. Takuya Ishino & Akiko Kamesaka & Toshiya Murai & Masao Ogaki, "undated". "Effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Subjective Well-Being," Working Papers e89, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    14. repec:ijp:wpaper:1305 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Danzer, Alexander M. & Danzer, Natalia, 2016. "The long-run consequences of Chernobyl: Evidence on subjective well-being, mental health and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 47-60.
    16. Dolan Antenucci & Michael Cafarella & Margaret Levenstein & Christopher Ré & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2014. "Using Social Media to Measure Labor Market Flows," NBER Working Papers 20010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Leonardo Becchetti & Stefano Castriota, 2010. "The Effects of a Calamity on Income and Wellbeing of Poor Microfinance Borrowers: The Case of the 2004 Tsunami Shock," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 211-233.
    18. Danzer, Alexander M. & Danzer, Natalia, 2011. "The Long-Term Effects of the Chernobyl Catastrophe on Subjective Well-Being and Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 5906, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Luechinger, Simon & Raschky, Paul A., 2009. "Valuing flood disasters using the life satisfaction approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 620-633, April.
    20. von Möllendorff, Charlotte & Hirschfeld, Jesko, 2016. "Measuring impacts of extreme weather events using the life satisfaction approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 108-116.

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    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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