The Impact of Natural Disasters on Firm and Labor Dynamics
This project will explore the impact of natural disasters on small businesses and whether effects differ depending on the demographics of the entrepreneurs running those businesses. Understanding how the composition of local economies changes after disasters because of the demise of some firms and the startup of others can explain a lot about what makes a particular place more or less resilient. Research shows that there is a lot of startup activity following a natural disaster, but this could be misleading if it is generated from rebuilding and doesn’t fully factor in displaced workers or shuttered businesses, which will have larger long-term effects. This project will look at the impact of natural disasters on firms’ entry/exit, survival, and financial performances. It will also look at whether these effects vary by entrepreneur demographics, their socioeconomic backgrounds, the types of firms and in which industries, market power, and competitive setting.