Here are two questions that I asked my class yesterday:
- Should the government provide assistance (death benefits, low-interest loans, grants, victim compensation funds, …) for the victims of Hurricane Katrina?
- Why did so few people in the Gulf Coast states have insurance (flood insurance in particular)?
After wrestling with these questions for a while, I then asked if there is any connection between the two. Responses to these difficult questions are being made by economists throughout the ‘blogosphere’:
- The Becker-Posner Blog: Gary Becker, 1992 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago discusses Major Disasters and the Good Samaritan Problem. Richard Posner Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago offers his assessment of the compensation question.
- Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution - Rebuilding New Orleans: what does it signal?
- Edward Glaeser, a Harvard professor who specializes in urban economics, says: "We have an obligation to people, not to places,"
- The Samaritan's Dilemma and Public Policy at The Austrian Economists