Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm on August 29th of 2005. It is the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Communities across the country are increasingly at risk of being affected by natural and environmental disasters. The Public Assistance Grant Program (PA Program) administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is available for states and communities that have received a major or emergency disaster declaration. Most of Emergency Management (EM) research has focused on preparedness and mitigation activities; considerably less research has studied post disaster response. Two of the initial and most important aspects of disaster response and recovery operations are the removal and disposal of debris from the disaster-affected area. This study assesses local government’s debris removal management decisions and how they impact their net wealth in the long run by using local government financial data from audited financial statements and post disaster data from the Louisiana Public Assistance database. Variables from transaction cost theory and similarity hypothesis are included as right hand side variables to explain the choice of outsourcing versus internal procurement of debris removal. A System Dynamics model is then built using the regression results and it incorporates debris removal decisions in the context of assumptions about future storm characteristics (i.e. frequency and severity) as well as the current capital and debt financial accounts of a rural parish government in Louisiana.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Fannin, James