Gulf Coast Recovery Project

Gulf Coast Recovery Project

In 2005, Mercatus launched a five-year project to follow the long-term redevelopment of the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. By combining verbal interviews with people rebuilding the Gulf Coast and quantitative and qualitative data, the Gulf Coast Recovery Project seeks to better understand the array of complex issues facing communities recovering from disaster and the roles that the public, commercial, and non-profit sectors play in rebuilding communities affected by large scale catastrophes.


Bruce Yandle, Mark Adams | Sep 2010
This policy comment discusses the importance of reducing regulatory barriers to recovery in the wake of a disaster.
Virgil Storr, Stefanie Haeffele-Balch | Apr 05, 2010
Using data from interviews with affected residents and community leaders in New Orleans after Katrina, this article explores the effectiveness of private disaster recovery efforts and whether or not…
Virgil Storr, Emily Chamlee-Wright | Dec 2009
This paper examines the role of the social entrepreneur in post-Katrina recovery and presents implications for…
Peter Leeson, Christopher Coyne,, Russel Sobel | Dec 2009
This paper investigates the political economy of FEMA’s post-9/11 merger with the Department of Homeland…
Emily Chamlee-Wright, Virgil Storr | Dec 2009
This study contributes to the literature on the strength of place attachment, identity and dependence in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. It also engages the literature concerning the role of…
Steven Horwitz | Aug 2009
Major American companies from Marriott to McDonald’s to Wal-Mart undertook major and minor acts of bourgeois virtue and contributed in a significant way to the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Doing…

Testimony & Comments

Speeches & Presentations


Peter Boettke is the vice president and director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center as well as the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism and a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University. He specializes in Austrian economics, economic history, institutional analysis, public choice, and social change.
Emily Chamlee-Wright is a senior research scholar and Board Member at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Her primary research interests include development economics, cultural economics, and indigenous markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Honorable Maurice McTigue, QSO, is vice president for outreach at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is director of the Mercatus Center’s Government Accountability Project and a member of its Spending and Budget Initiative and State and Local Policy Project.


Steven Horwitz, Eileen Norcross | May 22, 2008
As the 1000-day anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, many wonder exactly when the Gulf Coast will be back to normal, and why the recovery process has moved so slowly. With hurricane season 2008 quickly approaching, it's a good time to look at the lessons learned from the most expensive natural disaster in history. On Thursday, May 22nd, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University hosts a discussion on the effective disaster response from the public and private sectors. Dr. Steven Horwitz explains how both public and private institutions must have the right incentives in order to be successful in their disaster response efforts. His recently published paper "Making Hurricane Response More Effective" notes the need for disaster response to happen at the local level, and involve the kind of local knowledge that managers of local business and officers in the US Coast Guard possess. Eileen Norcross discusses problems in Louisiana's distribution of federal disaster aid, called the Road Home program and the more successful fund distribution in Mississippi's program. Her study "The Road Home: Helping Homeowners in the Gulf after Katrina" argues that while trying to prevent fraud is a laudable goal, a quick turnaround for disaster relief checks is a more important objective because it fuels the larger recovery process.

Recent Events

| April 29, 2009
The Social Change Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University presents a lecture by Nona Martin, Affiliated Scholar at the Mercatus Center. Ms. Martin will discuss her recent work in…


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