Weathering the Storm: Measuring Household Willingness-to-Pay for Risk-Reduction in Post-Katrina New Orleans
The city of New Orleans suffered extensive damage as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina overwhelmed the natural and built environment, inundating the city. As rebuilding proceeds, decisions on investment in protective measures will include the choice of lines of defense and the storm severity that design criteria should meet. An exhaustive list of protective measures has been studied in planning documents such as the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Technical Report (2009), with public comment solicited in town hall meetings. In this study we employ a different approach to examine public sentiment towards the selection and investment in protective measures. Our study utilizes a stated choice experiment with a stratified sample to investigate individuals’ willingness-to-pay for rebuilding New Orleans’ man-made storm defenses, restoring natural storm protection, and improving evacuation options through a modernized transportation system. We target residents of the New Orleans metropolitan area as well as other US citizens. Our results indicate that individuals are willing-to-pay for increased storm protection for New Orleans, but the allocation of these resources differs among residents of the New Orleans metro area and other US citizens. Key Words: storm surge mitigation, conjoint analysis, willingness to pay, Hurricane Katrina, flood control, stated choice, rebuilding New Orleans, recovery
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