Hayek would suggest letting the private sector allocate resources to citizen’s competing desires as they can obtain necessary information to determine needs and preferences. Hayek notes that, in a society, the question of how given resources should be allocated is not an economic problem. Hayek adds that economic problems involve “how to secure the best use of resources” in relation to “relative importance” (519-520). Sobel and Leeson in the article “The Use of Knowledge in Natural Disaster Relief Management,” suggest applying the second stage of disaster management to allocate resources. This stage involves identifying the type of relief needed and who needs it. All the victims will require basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. Some areas will need special and unexpected help which require more urgency. The private sector is best suited to obtain such information because they are familiar with the market’s supply and demand and are able to tell where relief help is needed most (Sobel and Leeson 30).
Hayek would recommend the relief operations to be handled by the private sector using the three stages of disaster management. Authors Sobel and Leeson argue that when disaster has occurred, there are three stages involved in managing the disaster (30). The first step is finding out the severity of the disaster and if victims need relief. The second step is identifying the type of relief needed, who can readily supply them, and areas and victims to be given priority. The third step is getting evaluation and feedback on how effective the actions taken are, and if there is a need for modification. The authors conclude that the private sector is better at generating information needed in the three stages of disaster management compared to government agencies (26-8).
Hayek, Friedrich. “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” The American Economic Review, vol. 35, no. 4, Sep. 1945, pp. 519-52, https://www.kysq.org/docs/Hayek_45.pdf. Accessed 12 June 2018.
Sobel, Russell, and Peter Leeson. The Use of Knowledge in Natural Disaster Relief Management. p. 30, https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/8_sobelleeson.pdf. Accessed 12 June 201