Polycentric Orders and Post-Disaster Recovery

A Case Study of One Orthodox Jewish Community Following Hurricane Sandy

Originally published in Journal of Institutional Economics

Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the United States on 29 October 2012, flooding hundreds of thousands of homes and costing over $50 billion in property damage. After Hurricane Sandy residents and communities required food, water and clothing, and in the weeks and months following, there was demand for cleaning supplies, building materials and contracting services. Polycentric orders, because of their flexibility and access to local knowledge, are well suited to respond to the challenges of disaster. We highlight the importance of privately provided social services within polycentric orders and illustrate that the private provision of these services was important to post-disaster recovery in the Orthodox Jewish community in the Rockaway Peninsula in New York.

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