Download PDF

Hurricane Katrina destroyed over 200,000 homes and led to massive economic and physical dislocation. Using a panel of tax return data, we provide one of the first comprehensive analyses of the hurricane’s long-term economic impact on its victims. Hurricane Katrina had large and persistent impacts on where people live, but small and surprisingly transitory effects on employment and income. Within just a few years, Katrina victims’incomes actually surpass that of controls from similar unaffected cities. The strong economic performance of Hurricane Katrina victims is particularly remarkable given that the hurricane struck with essentially no warning.