Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ECON 365: Ed Glaeser on the Role for Gov't Post-Katrina

A couple years ago, one of my students left me a message telling me I needed to turn on NPR immediately because my adviser, Ed Glaeser, was dealing with several very irate callers upset by his suggestion that the government shouldn't invest much in rebuilding New Orleans. He argued that the money would be better spent simply offering cash to all New Orleans' pre-Katrina residents. His argument is that we should insure people and not places. The idea of not rebuilding New Orleans touched a nerve and callers from across the country wanted to let Ed know that he was a big idiot. While it was amusing to listen to my adviser deal with the callers, the argument he makes is, in my opinion, not without merit. It certainly offers an interesting response to the 4 questions Gruber outlines in chapter 1.

Please read Glaeser's full argument here:

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