RAPID: Quasi-Experiment on the Effect of Disaster-induced Displacement

This project examines the political consequences of Hurricane Harvey by studying post-Harvey migration patterns as an event with serious political and economic consequences. This framework examines variations in the decision of displaced individuals to move to different areas and how this affects their associated experience. Researchers also examine how people’s political attitudes change in response to rapid demographic shifts in their communities. Specifically, this study uses publicly available data from Twitter and the Texas voter registration file. The ongoing post-Harvey migration provides a unique opportunity to examine the effect of social contact and political context in a case where these encounters could not have otherwise been anticipated.

This work will build on results on the political attitudes of displaced individuals after Hurricane Katrina. As a result of New Orleans’ unique racial geography, Katrina evacuees were more likely to be people of color and of lower socioeconomic status. The 2017 flooding in the greater Houston area, however, affected both rich and poor communities alike, as well as majority white and majority-minority communities. Examining the impact of these evacuees on the communities to which they relocate allows researchers to separately estimate the effects of evacuee proximity from those of changes in racial demographics.

 

Investigators
Christopher Fariss, University of Michigan. K. C. Clay, University of Georgia, and T. M. Wright and R. M. Wood at Arizona State University.

Funders
National Science Foundation