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Katrinanomics: The politics and economics of disaster relief

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  • William Shughart

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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. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • William Shughart, 2006. "Katrinanomics: The politics and economics of disaster relief," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 31-53, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:127:y:2006:i:1:p:31-53 DOI: 10.1007/s11127-006-7731-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2003. "The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 496-509, July.
    2. James Buchanan, 2005. "Afraid to be free: Dependency as desideratum," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 19-31, July.
    3. Marilyn Young & Michael Reksulak & William F. Shughart, 2001. "The Political Economy of the IRS," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 201-220, July.
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