The Use of Knowledge in Natural-Disaster Relief Management
By Peter T. Leeson
Russell S. Sobel

This article appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of The Independent Review


Natural-disaster relief management succeeds or fails on the basis of the managers’ ability to gather, evaluate, and act on decentralized, informal knowledge of logistics, local needs, and changing circumstances. The case of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort suggests that commercial and non-profit networks are inherently better suited for grappling with the “knowledge problem” than are central government bureaucracies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Other Independent Review articles by Peter T. Leeson
    Spring 2005   Is Government Inevitable? Comment on Holcombe’s Analysis

Other Independent Review articles by Russell S. Sobel
    Winter 2004   To Form a More Perfect Union: A New Economic Interpretation of the United States Constitution

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