Title

Katrinanomics: The Politics and Economics of Disaster Relief

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Public Choice

Volume

127

Publication Date

2006

First Page

31

Last Page

53

Abstract

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.

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