Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Pallab Mozumder

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mihaela Pintea

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

M. Hadi Amini

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Abu Shonchoy

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


hurricanes, risk perception, Superfund Sites, real estate market, public health, birth outcomes, power infrastructure resilience, public’s willingness-to-pay, discrete choice experiment

Date of Defense



This dissertation consists of three essays focusing on topics related to environmental and health economics. In the first essay, we look into risk mitigation measures related to public health. More specifically, the focus is on the societal impacts of Superfund Sites and their inundation during extreme weather events. With that objective in mind, we investigate the effect of hurricane-induced discharges from Superfund Sites in terms of residents’ risk perception and its consequence on housing values in the real estate market using the property sales data. The findings suggest that home prices in the vicinity of Superfund Sites experience depreciation. Following the discovery of hurricane-induced discharges from Superfund Sites, we find an additional depreciation of home price near the impacted Superfund Sites.

In the past few decades, the increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes have raised concerns regarding the potential adverse impact of hurricanes on public health. Hurricanes have the potential to cause stress in pregnant women, potentially leading to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm births or low birthweight deliveries. In the second essay, using Florida confidential birth data, we investigate the possible effect of Hurricane Irma as a source of stress on birth outcomes. As for sources of stress, we examine several potential sources, including psychological stress, evacuation, and property damage, and find that on average, the maternal exposure to Hurricane Irma led to 7 grams decrease in birth weights.

In the third essay, using a discrete choice experiment (DCE) survey, we assess public preferences for improvement in the resilience of electricity infrastructures to hurricane risks in Florida. Here the resilience is defined as the reduced time in restoring the interrupted electricity services. The DCE survey consists of two hypothetical scenarios of improvement in resilience of electricity infrastructures, and a current situation scenario. These scenarios are differentiated based on the improvement in electricity infrastructures in terms of the percentage of customers receiving the service restored within specific days after a hurricane. The estimates of respondents’ average annual willingness to pay suggest that there is a positive support for funding resilience programs in electricity infrastructures to withstand hurricane risks.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).