The broken trailer fallacy: Seeing the unseen effects of government policies in post-Katrina New Orleans
AbstractPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze some of the unseen negative effects of the post-Katrina government policies dealing with housing in New Orleans. Design/methodology/approach – Since Hurricane Katrina, the government, along with private for profit and not-for-profit organizations, has worked to rebuild the city of New Orleans. This effort is most evident in the response to the housing crisis that followed the storm. The government has spent billions of dollars and brought thousands of people in to rebuild homes and other infrastructure in the long run and to provide stopgap measures in the short run. The approximately 120,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailers in the region are one of the most visible examples of government efforts. Findings – The paper finds that while the trailers did provide benefits to those who received them, it could be argued that the government's policies aimed toward solving the housing crisis suffer from Frédéric Bastiat's broken window fallacy. FEMA trailers and the multitude of workers brought in are examples of what is seen, and, as Bastiat showed, we must also look at what is unseen. Originality/value – The paper is of value in showing that the trailer problem, among many others, has weakened the relief effort.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.
Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
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Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com
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Other versions of this item:
- Stringham, Edward & Snow, Nicholas, 2008. "The broken trailer fallacy: seeing the unseen effects of government policies in post-Katrina New Orleans," MPRA Paper 26099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
- H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Craig E. Landry & Okmyung Bin & Paul Hindsley & John C. Whitehead & Kenneth Wilson, 2007.
"Going Home: Evacuation-Migration Decisions of Hurrican Katrina Survivors,"
Southern Economic Journal,
Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 326-343, October.
- Craig E. Landry & Okmyung Bin & Paul Hindsley & John C. Whitehead & Kenneth Wilson, 2007. "Going Home: Evacuation-Migration Decisions of Hurricane Katrina Survivors," Working Papers 07-03, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
- Sam Whitt & Rick K. Wilson, 2007. "Public Goods in The Field: Katrina Evacuees in Houston," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 377-387, October.
- Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & Angela Milano, 2007. "Is More Information Always Better? An Experimental Study of Charitable Giving and Hurrican Katrina," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 388-411, October.
- William F. Chappell & Richard G. Forgette & David A. Swanson & Mark V. Van Boening, 2007. "Determinants of Government Aid to Katrina Survivors: Evidence from Survey Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 344-362, October.
- Walter Block & William Barnett, 2009. "Coase and Bertrand on lighthouses," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 1-13, July.
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