How do Socioeconomic Characteristics Interact with Equity and Efficiency Considerations? An Analysis of Hurricane Disaster Relief Goods Provision
Spatial analytic research has explored the issue of where to best site hurricane relief distribution facilities, but it has largely concentrated on the efficient provision of these services. However, equity considerations may also impact decisions on where to locate facilities. Questions of efficiency vs. equity become all the more acute when more detailed assessments of peoples’ socioeconomic characteristics are made as a part of these decisions. This paper examines the issue of siting hurricane disaster relief facilities based on equity vs. efficiency objectives, in light of populations’ socioeconomic differences. Population differences are measured in terms of a household income variable. p-median and vertex p-center problems are applied to find relief center locations in a Southeastern U.S. city. Results show that income differences interact with the location strategies employed to produce variation in people’s accessibility to relief goods.