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Toward a Theory of Population Repatriation from Disasters

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

“Toward a Theory of Population Repatriation from Disasters,” August 2018. Adam Rose, Jonathan Eyer and Shingo Nagamatsu


The purpose of this paper is to present the outlines of a conceptual framework of the economics of population repatriation following disasters. It is acknowledged that economics is only one major dimension of the issue, but it is intended to help fill the analytical gap and inspire more conceptual efforts in other fields. To develop this framework, we identify the many key factors and relationships affecting the issue, relevant background conditions, and potential policy remedies. In addition, because of the spatial and temporal dimensions of repatriation, we place an emphasis on motivations, perceptions, risk context, and adaptive behavior. We combine these various aspects into a comprehensive and consistent analytical structure that can serve several purposes. While there is a growing literature identifying the characteristics of post-disaster migrants, there is no general framework examining the repatriation decision and how it differs from initial disaster-motivated migration decisions. The framework provided in this paper is primarily intended to provide a guide for future empirical studies of repatriation by identifying the influence of causal factors that will enter into an individual’s repatriation decision.

See full Working Paper here.

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