AbstractCould bad weather be responsible for U.S. corruption? Natural disasters create resource windfalls in the states they strike by triggering federally provided natural-disaster relief. By increasing the benefit of fraudulent appropriation and creating new opportunities for such theft, disaster-relief windfalls may also increase corruption. We investigate this hypothesis by exploring the effect of disaster relief provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on public corruption. The results support our hypothesis. Each additional $100 per capita in FEMA relief increases the average state's corruption by nearly 102 percent. Our findings suggest notoriously corrupt regions of the United States, such as the Gulf Coast, are in part notoriously corrupt because natural disasters frequently strike them. They attract more disaster relief, which makes them more corrupt. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.
Volume (Year): 51 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
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- Adriana Cordis, 2009. "Judicial checks on corruption in the United States," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 375-401, November.
- Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Impact of natural disaster on public sector corruption," MPRA Paper 49760, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Coyne, Christopher J., 2011. "Constitutions and crisis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 351-357.
- Emily Chamlee-Wright & Virgil Storr, 2011. "Social capital, lobbying and community-based interest groups," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 167-185, October.
- Monica Escaleras & Charles Register, 2012. "Fiscal decentralization and natural hazard risks," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 165-183, April.
- Emily Chamlee-Wright & Virgil Storr, 2010. "Expectations of government’s response to disaster," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 253-274, July.
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