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News Droughts, News Floods, and U.S. Disaster Relief

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Author Info

  • Thomas Eisensee
  • David Strömberg

Abstract

This paper studies the influence of mass media on U.S. government response to approximately 5,000 natural disasters occurring between 1968 and 2002. These disasters took nearly 63,000 lives and affected 125 million people per year. We show that U.S. relief depends on whether the disaster occurs at the same time as other newsworthy events, such as the Olympic Games, which are obviously unrelated to need. We argue that the only plausible explanation of this is that relief decisions are driven by news coverage of disasters and that the other newsworthy material crowds out this news coverage. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/qjec.122.2.693
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 122 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 693-728

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:693-728

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  1. What News is the Olympics Crowding Out?
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2008-08-20 03:31:00

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  1. > Political Economy > The Political Economy of the US
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