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The power of narrative in post-disaster entrepreneurial response


In this response to Community Revival in the Wake of Disaster, I describe four functional roles that storytelling plays in fueling and shaping entrepreneurial action in post-disaster contexts, with a specific focus on how storytelling motivates residents and entrepreneurs to return and rebuild their damaged homes and communities.

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  1. Among the New Orleans residents we interviewed and/or surveyed still living in Houston three years following the storm, half claimed that their quality of life was better in New Orleans but that some combination of practical factors stood in their way of returning (Chamlee-Wright and Storr 2009c).

  2. I use “†” to designate the use of a pseudonym.


  • Chamlee-Wright, E. (2007). The long road back: Signal noise in the post-Katrina context. The Independent Review, 12(2), 235–259.

  • Chamlee-Wright, E. & Storr, V. H. (2009a). Filling the civil society vacuum: Post-disaster policy and community response. Mercatus Policy Series, Policy Comment, 22, 1–22.

  • _____. (2009b). Club goods and post-disaster community return. Rationality & Society, 21(4), 429–458.

  • _____. (2009c). “There’s no place like New Orleans”: Sense of place and community recovery in the Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina,” Journal of Urban Affairs, 31(5), 615–634.

  • _____. (2010). Community resilience in New Orleans East: Deploying the cultural toolkit within a Vietnamese-American community, in J. Rivera and D. Miller (eds) Community Disaster Recovery and Resiliency: Exploring Global Opportunities and Challenges, Taylor & Francis, pp. 99–122, 2010

  • _____. (2011). Social Capital as Collective Narratives and Post-Disaster Community Recovery. Sociological Review, 59(2), 266–282.

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Correspondence to Emily Chamlee-Wright.

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Chamlee-Wright, E. The power of narrative in post-disaster entrepreneurial response. Rev Austrian Econ 31, 467–472 (2018).

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  • Disaster recovery
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Narrative
  • Storytelling
  • Hurricane Katrina

JEL codes

  • B53
  • D71
  • L26
  • L31
  • Q54