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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 21, 2020

How Katrina Shaped Trust and Efficacy in New Orleans

Mirya R. Holman ORCID logo and J. Celeste Lay ORCID logo
From the journal The Forum


In 2005, Hurricane Katrina led to substantial demographic changes in New Orleans. The city lost large numbers of its African American population and became more diverse with the arrival of more Latino migrants and more highly educated, affluent white newcomers. Demographic change has the potential to depress political trust, efficacy, and trust in others. In this essay, we show that more than 10 years after Katrina, neither white nor Black New Orleanians trust local or national government. Black residents, particularly Black women, are generally more distrustful of their neighbors, whites, Latinos, and newcomers in the city. White newcomers are more efficacious and trusting than pre-Katrina white residents. These findings provide more evidence for the thesis that race and place shape trust and that Katrina continues to have an impact on New Orleans in distinctly racialized ways.

Corresponding author: Mirya R. Holman, Associate Professor of Political Science, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA, E-mail:


This project was funded by the Lavin Bernick Faculty Grants at Tulane University.


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Published Online: 2020-09-21

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