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Could Superstorm Sandy Stimulate the Region's Economy?
The New York metro region’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy is well under way. Spending on restoration and rebuilding activities following a natural disaster is a potentially powerful economic stimulus to the affected area. Indeed, money from outside the region—in the form of federal aid and private insurance payments—flowing to the damaged areas in the region gives a temporary boost to economic activity. But does this mean that Sandy—along with the federal aid and insurance payouts associated with it—was actually good for the region’s economy? In this post, we examine the nature ...
What are the Costs of Superstorm Sandy?
Superstorm Sandy has had widespread effects in the tri-state region. Early estimates of the total national costs have been in the range of $30 billion to $50 billion. More recently, the New York State governor’s office has estimated state costs to be $32.8 billion, while the New Jersey governor’s office has calculated state costs to be $29.5 billion; these figures exclude mitigation costs—money spent to protect against future storms. It is important to remember that such figures incorporate two distinct types of costs: first, direct costs related to the destruction of physical ...
How Do Natural Disasters Affect U.S. Small Business Owners?
Recent research has linked climate change and socioeconomic inequality (see here, here, and here). But what are the effects of climate change on small businesses, particularly those owned by people of color, which tend to be more resource-constrained and less resilient? In a series of two posts, we use the Federal Reserve’s Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS) to document small businesses’ experiences with natural disasters and how these experiences differ based on the race and ethnicity of business owners. This first post shows that small firms owned by people of color sustain losses from ...
Small Business Recovery after Natural Disasters
The first post of this series found that small businesses owned by people of color are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. In this post, we focus on the aftermath of disasters, and examine disparities in the ability of firms to reopen their businesses and access disaster relief. Our results indicate that Black-owned firms are more likely to remain closed for longer periods and face greater difficulties in obtaining the immediate relief needed to cope with a natural disaster.
The Impact of Superstorm Sandy on New York City School Closures and Attendance
On October 29, superstorm Sandy hit the tri-state area, flooding streets, highways, tunnels, buildings, and homes, and crippling the region?s public transit system. At least ninety-four people in New York and New Jersey were killed. Downed power lines and damaged transformers plunged downtown Manhattan and coastal areas into days and weeks of darkness. The damage is still being assessed, but costs are sure to be in the tens of billions. Schools were no exception to this devastation, both in infrastructural damage and in disruptions to students? education. The storm shut down all 1,750 New ...
Long Island’s Economy Back on Track after Sandy
In late October last year, Superstorm Sandy devastated and disrupted much of the tri-state region, including a large swath of Long Island. For most of Suffolk County and inland parts of Nassau County, the disruptions were widespread but relatively short lived—they mostly involved power, transportation, and communications outages. However, the southern coast of Nassau County was particularly hard hit, and the recovery in cities like Long Beach has taken considerably longer. Overall, though, Long Island’s economic rebound appears to be progressing well. In this post, we give a short ...
The Welfare Costs of Superstorm Sandy
As most of the New York metropolitan region begins to get back to normal following the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy, researchers and analysts are trying to assess the total ?economic cost? of the storm. But what, exactly, is meant by economic cost? Typically, those tallying up the economic cost of a disaster think of two types of costs: loss of capital (property damage and destruction) and loss of economic activity (caused by disruptions). But there is another important type of economic loss that often is not estimated or discussed in policymaking decisions: loss of welfare or ...