Sunday, October 22, 2006

Assorted disaster law notes


Herewith two unrelated items on disaster law -- a recent paper and a forthcoming symposium.

First, the paper:

Russell S. Sobel & Peter T. Leeson, The Use of Knowledge in Natural Disaster Relief Management, Indep. Rev. (forthcoming):
To successfully coordinate natural disaster relief, society must solve Hayek's "knowledge problem" at three critical information nodes: (1) identification of disaster; (2) determination of what relief is needed and who needs which relief resources; and (3) evaluation of on-going relief efforts. This paper investigates the comparative ability of government and the private sector to do this. We find that government is inherently incapable of generating the information needed to solve the knowledge problem at any of these nodes. In contrast, the private sector is capable of solving the knowledge problem at each information node. The results of our analysis suggest that disaster relief reforms which leave government as the primary manager of natural disasters are bound to fail. Correcting government's information failure in the context of disaster relief requires eliminating its root cause: government itself.
A hat tip to D. Daniel Sokol for bringing this item to my attention.

And now, the symposium announcement:

The Food Industry Center and The National Center for Food Protection and Defense of the University of Minnesota and the Trucking Industry Program of the Georgia Institute of Technology are cosponsoring the following symposium:


November 1, 2006, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the A.I. Johnson Great Room of theUniversity of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455. Registration closes October 24th; space is limited to 150 registrants.

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