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Rationally bounded in a storm of complex events: small businesses facing natural hazard resilience during a pandemic

Published

Author(s)

Jennifer Helgeson, Juan F. Fung, Alfredo R. Roa Henriquez

Abstract

High-level economic estimates of disaster events typically report upon direct losses and do not capture indirect and longer-term impacts. In turn, these indirect and longer-term losses map to vulnerabilities that limit the decision sets available to agents seeking to manage current and future disruptive events, especially when these events are complex in nature. Herein we introduce the importance of considering agents' learning, agency, and flexibility (LAF) when providing support (financial and in-kind) aimed to enable agents to increase resilience capacity. Examples are drawn from a national survey conducted by agencies in the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to better understand decision-making of owners and managers of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) faced with natural disasters and other concerns in the context of COVID-19. Initial findings from this survey support the claim that LAF are key attributes of resilience capacity, especially relevant when considering complex events. Little has been written from a behavioral economics perspective about MSMEs even though impacts on MSMEs have important implications given their critical role in the economy.
Citation
Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy

Citation

Helgeson, J. , Fung, J. and Roa, A. (2021), Rationally bounded in a storm of complex events: small businesses facing natural hazard resilience during a pandemic, Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=931705 (Accessed May 23, 2022)
Created January 13, 2021, Updated January 14, 2021