Mercatus Center

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University engaged in a five-year study of the
issues facing communities recovering from catastrophes. Through hundreds of interviews
with residents from all walks of life, researchers developed a picture of how community
leaders, entrepreneurs, elected officials, and everyday citizens make decisions after
disasters. Here a damaged home is repaired in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

For more than 30 years, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Charles Koch Foundation grant recipient, has sought to bridge the gap that often exists between economic understanding and real-world decision-making.

A university-based research center, its mission is to generate knowledge and understanding of the institutions that affect the freedom to prosper and to find sustainable solutions that overcome the barriers preventing individuals from living free, prosperous, and peaceful lives.

Bringing together a global network of scholars and experts, Mercatus provides policy makers with the economic tools to make sense of today's most pressing issues.

An example of the center’s research is the Gulf Coast Recovery Project, a five-year study of long-term redevelopment after Hurricane Katrina. By combining verbal interviews with people rebuilding the Gulf Coast and quantitative and qualitative data, the project seeks to better understand the array of complex issues facing communities recovering from disaster and the roles that the public, commercial, and non-profit sectors play in rebuilding communities affected by large-scale catastrophes.


The Mercatus Center is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. For more information, visit