Economics and Flood Risk: Modeling Population Migration

Authors: Rachel Correll*, , Nina Lam, Louisiana State University, Lei Zou, Texas A&M University, Volodymyr Mihunov, Louisiana State University, Heng Cai, Louisiana State University
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Flood risk, Mississippi Delta, population change, migration, telephone survey, spatial model
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Cabinet Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Southern Louisiana is no stranger to flooding. There was boundless devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Then, the August 2016 floods due to the relentless rains were catastrophic, flooding regions that had not been inundated in decades. To understand what make residents living in vulnerable coastal regions consider moving, we conducted a telephone survey of residents in the Mississippi River Delta. The vast majority of respondents in the survey recognized the grave importance of flood risk, but were not as united when deciding whether it was enough to make someone want to move from the region. Based on the telephone survey data, together with respondents’ socioeconomic and environmental characteristic, we develop a spatial model to identify and quantify the effects of major factors influencing resident’s migration decision. The model will aid in understanding of the interrelated factors affecting migration decisions; it could be used to model the future movements of communities in the face of rising sea levels, subsiding land, and increasing flood risks.

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