Managed Retreat and Flood Recovery: The Local Economic Impacts of a Buyout and Acquisition Program

This working paper evaluates the property- and neighborhood-level impacts of a buyout and acquisition program in New York State following Hurricane Sandy.



Dec. 15, 2023


Wei Guo, Yanjun (Penny) Liao, and Qing Miao


Working Paper

Reading time

1 minute


Numerous coastal communities are grappling with the challenge of adapting to escalating disaster risks while maintaining a robust local economy. We study a major buyout and acquisition program in New York State following Hurricane Sandy and evaluate its impacts on a variety of property- and neighborhood-level outcomes. We find that a buyout or acquisition increases nearby property values and also improves business performance and urban amenities in the broader neighborhood. These neighborhoods also attract higher-income property buyers. Compared to buyouts, home acquisitions—which facilitate resilient redevelopment of government-acquired properties— have a more pronounced economic effect. Our research design accounts for the confounding effects of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction. By providing some of the first estimates on the general equilibrium effects of buyout and acquisition programs, our findings offer a more holistic perspective on their role in shaping the socioeconomic landscape of communities.


Wei Guo headshot

Wei Guo

European Institute on Economics and the Environment

Qing Miao headshot

Qing Miao

Rochester Institute of Technology

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