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Measuring the Financial Shocks of Natural Disasters: A Panel Study of U.S. States

Qing Miao, Yilin Hou and Michael Ralph Abrigo

National Tax Journal, 2018, vol. 71, issue 1, 11-44

Abstract: This paper employs panel vector autoregression to examine the dynamic fiscal response to natural disasters. With 50-state, 1970‐2013 panel data on state government finance and disaster damage, we estimate disaster impacts on revenue, expenditure, debt issuance, and federal-state transfers. We find that following a disaster, states increase program expenditure and receive more federal transfers. Disasters have limited impact on total tax revenues but amplify fluctuations in sales, income, and property tax revenues. Our findings suggest that disaster-induced additional spending is largely financed through federal transfers, which include not only disaster relief funds but also non-disaster-related public welfare assistance.

Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Measuring the Financial Shocks of Natural Disasters: A Panel Study of U.S. States (2016) Downloads
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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:71:y:2018:i:1:p:11-44