Financial Vulnerability and Personal Finance Outcomes of Natural Disasters

September 1, 2017
By Kelly D. Edmiston, Senior Economist

Research Working PaperFinancial vulnerability, as measured by past due bills or bank card utilization rates, has a significant effect on personal financial outcomes after a natural disaster.

I examine whether financial vulnerability (or “financial preparedness”) affects financial outcomes after a hurricane. Modeling hurricanes as “treatments” and interacting them with variables from consumer credit reports, I find that the financial vulnerability of residents in affected census tracts is associated with poorer financial outcomes. Considering lags, financial vulnerability has a considerable effect on personal finance outcomes after a hurricane.

Download paper, RWP 17-09, September 2017 

JEL Classification: Q54, D12

Article Citation

  • Edmiston, Kelly D. 2017. "Financial Vulnerability and Personal Finance Outcomes of Natural Disasters." Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Research Working Paper 17-09, September. Available at

Related Research

  • Gallagher, Justin, and Daniel Hartley. 2014. "Household Finance After a Natural Disaster: The Case of Hurricane Katrina." Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Working Paper 14-06, July.