Katrinanomics: The Politics and Economics of Disaster Relief
Hurricane Katrina revealed massive governmental failure at the local, state and federal levels. This commentary brings the modern theory of property rights and public choice reasoning to bear in explaining why officials failed to strengthen New Orleans's levee system despite forewarning of its weaknesses, failed to pre-deploy adequate emergency supplies as the storm approached landfall and failed to respond promptly afterwards. Its main lesson is that no one should have expected government to be any more effective when confronted with natural disaster than it is in more mundane circumstances.
“Katrinanomics: The Politics and Economics of Disaster Relief”, Public Choice 127 (April 2006), pp. 31–53.