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

Listed author(s):
  • Parag Mahajan
  • Dean Yang

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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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23756.

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Date of creation: Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23756
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