Stringham, Edward and Snow, Nicholas (2008): The broken trailer fallacy: seeing the unseen effects of government policies in post-Katrina New Orleans. Published in: International Journal of Social Economics , Vol. 35, No. 7 (2008): pp. 480-489.
Download (148kB) | Preview
Purpose – 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 Fre´de´ric 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.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||The broken trailer fallacy: seeing the unseen effects of government policies in post-Katrina New Orleans|
|Keywords:||United States of America; Natural Disasters; Man-Made Disasters; Floods; Economic Theory|
|Subjects:||H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H42 - Publicly Provided Private Goods
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H54 - Infrastructures ; Other Public Investment and Capital Stock
D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D78 - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
|Depositing User:||Edward Peter Stringham|
|Date Deposited:||29. Oct 2010 11:45|
|Last Modified:||15. Feb 2013 09:16|
Architectural Record (2006), “Designers hope Katrina cottage will replace FEMA trailers”, Architectural Record, April 1.
Barr, S. (2006), “Hurricanes past and future speed hiring by FEMA”, The Washington Post, March 13.
Barry, D. (2006), “Lives crammed into 240 square feet”, New York Times, June 14.
Bastiat, F. (1964), Selected Essays on Political Economy, The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc., Irvington-on-Hudson, NY.
Blumenthal, R. (2007), “FEMA offers up to $4,000 as home lure for storm victims”, New York Times, October 16.
Boettke, P., Chamlee-Wright, E., Gordon, P., Ikeda, S., Leeson, P.T. and Sobel, R. (2007), “The political, economic, and social aspects of Katrina”, Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 74 No. 2, pp. 363-76.
Bonisteel, S. (2006), “F-Katrina: New Orleans hip-hop remembers the hurricane”, Fox News, August 28.
Chappell, W.F., Forgette, R.G., Swanson, D.A. and van Boening, M.V. (2007), “Determinants of government aid to Katrina survivors: evidence from survey data”, Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 74 No. 2, pp. 344-62.
Clemetson, L. (2005), “Storm victims suing FEMA for more aid”, The New York Times, November 10.
Deseret News (2006), “FEMA painting stove knobs red in trailers”, Deseret News, October 15.
DHS (2006), Hurricane Katrina: What is Government Doing?, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC, September 24.
Eaton, L. (2007), “Hurricane survivors to buy U.S. trailers or pay rental fee”, New York Times, April 27.
Eckel, C., Grossman, P.J. and Milano, A. (2007), “Is more information always better? An experimental study of charitable giving and Hurricane Katrina”, Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 74 No. 2, pp. 388-411.
Ewing, B.T., Kruse, J.B. and Sutter, D. (2007), “Hurricanes and economic research: an introduction to the Hurricane Katrina symposium”, Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 74 No. 2, pp. 315-25.
FEMA (2007), “Environmental and historic preservation employment opportunities”, available at: www.fema.gov/plan/ehp/employment.shtm
Foster, M. (2007), “Katrina victims feel trapped by trailers”, Associated Press, August 5.
Freedom du Lac, J. (2006), “Juvenile’s ‘reality’: blowing up a storm over New Orleans”, The Washington Post, March 8.
(The) Globe and Mail (2006), “Cleaning up after a catastrophe”, The Globe and Mail (Canada), September 26.
Hall, M. (2006), “FEMA lost $1B to fraud, errors; report lists problems with hurricane relief”, USA Today, June 14.
Hall, M., Johnson, K. and Linn, M. (2005), “Help is on the way, but it’s unclear where”, USA Today, September 15.
Harper, T. (2006), “Scale of FEMA waste ‘breathtaking’”, The Toronto Star, August 6.
Hayek, F.A. (1948), Individualism and Economic Order, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.
Hsu, S. (2005), “FEMA official criticizes trailer plan for evacuees; lump-sum payments to victims urged”, The Washington Post, December 9.
Hsu, S. (2007), “FEMA pricing of trailers called unfair and wasteful”, The Washington Post, May 26.
Landry, C.E., Bin, O., Hindsley, P., Whitehead, J.C. and Wilson, K. (2007), “Going home: evacuation-migration decisions of Hurricane Katrina survivors”, Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 74 No. 2, pp. 326-43.
Maggi, L. (2005), “Only 1,800 families have FEMA trailers”, The Times Picayune, October 14.
Mises, L.V. (1990), Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Auburn, AL.
Moran, K. (2007), “FEMA trailers called health hazards”, The Times Picayune, May 29.
Rothbard, M. (1956), “Toward a reconstruction of utility and welfare economics”, in Sennholtz, M. (Ed.), On Freedom and Free Enterprise in Honor of Ludwig Von Mises, Van Nostrand Company, Princeton, NJ, pp. 224-62.
Salerno, J. (1990), “Postscript: why a socialist economy is impossible”, in Mises, L.V. (Ed.), Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Auburn, AL, pp. 51-71.
Sarasota Herald-Tribune (2005), “You could not make this up”, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, September 19.
Steinhauer, J. and Lipton, E. (2006), “Storm victims face big delay to get trailers”, The New York Times, February 9.
Whitt, S. and Wilson, R.K. (2007), “Public goods in the field: Katrina evacuees in Houston”, Southern Economic Journal, Vol. 74 No. 2, pp. 377-87.
Witte, G. (2005), “FEMA let reserves wither, hurting response, some say; as it seeks more workers, agency relies on contractors in gulf coast”, The Washington Post, September 26.