Migration as a vector of economic losses from disaster-affected areas in the United States
We introduce the consideration of human migration into research on economic losses from extreme weather disasters. Taking a comparative case study approach and using data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel, we document the size of economic losses attributable to migration from 23 disaster-affected areas in the United States before, during, and after some of the most costly hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires on record. We then employ demographic standardization and decomposition to determine if these losses primarily reflect changes in out-migration or the economic resources that migrants take with them. Finally, we consider the implications of these losses for changing spatial inequality in the United States. While disaster-affected areas and their populations differ in their experiences of and responses to extreme weather disasters, we generally find that, relative to the year before an extreme weather disaster, economic losses via migration from disaster-affected areas increase the year of and after the disaster, these changes primarily reflect changes in out-migration (vs. the economic resources that migrants take with them), and these losses briefly disrupt the status quo by temporarily reducing spatial inequality.
Jack DeWaard, Elizabeth Fussell, Katherine J. Curtis, Stephan D. Whitaker, Kathryn McConnell, Kobie Price, Michael Soto, and Catalina Anampa Castro. 2023. "Migration as a vector of economic losses from disaster-affected areas in the United States," Demography 2023: 10426100.