NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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How Hurricanes Sweep Up Housing Markets: Evidence from Florida

Joshua S. Graff Zivin, Yanjun Liao, Yann Panassie

NBER Working Paper No. 27542
Issued in July 2020
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics, Public Economics

This paper examines the impacts of hurricanes on the housing market and the associated implications for local population turnover. We first characterize the post-hurricane equilibrium dynamics in local housing markets using microdata from Florida during 2000-2016. Our results show that hurricanes cause an increase in equilibrium prices and a concurrent decrease in transactions in affected areas, both lasting up to three years. Together, these dynamics imply a negative transitory shock to the housing supply as a consequence of the hurricane. Furthermore, we match buyer characteristics from mortgage applications to provide the first buyer-level evidence on population turnover. We find that incoming homeowners in this period have higher incomes, leading to an overall shift in the local economic profile toward higher-income groups. Our findings suggest that market responses to destructive natural disasters can lead to uneven and lasting demographic changes in affected communities, even with a full recovery in physical capital.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27542

 
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