Environmental migration as short- or long-term differences from a trend: A case study of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita effects on out-migration in the Gulf of Mexico

Elizabeth Fussell, Jack DeWaard, Katherine J. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

An environmental event that damages housing and the built environment may result in either a short- or long-term out-migration response, depending on residents' recovery decisions and hazard tolerance. If residents move only in the immediate disaster aftermath, then out-migration will be elevated only in the short-term. However, if disasters increase residents' concerns about future risk, heighten vulnerability, or harm the local economy, then out-migration may be elevated for years after an event. The substantive aim of this research brief is to evaluate hypotheses about short- and long-term out-migration responses to the highly destructive 2005 hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. The methodological aim is to demonstrate a difference-in-differences (DID) approach analysing time series data from Gulf Coast counties to compare short- and long-differences in out-migration probabilities in the treatment and control counties. We find a large short-term out-migration response and a smaller sustained increase for the disaster-affected coastal counties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Migration
Volume61
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University through the generosity of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P2C HD041020), the Minnesota Population Center (P2C HD041023), and the Center for Demography and Ecology (P2C HD047873). We thank Guixing Wei at Brown University's Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences for mapping assistance. We are also grateful for the World Bank's Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) Environmental Change and Migration Thematic Working Group for valuable feedback on the research reported here.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Organization for Migration.

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