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Public Sector Corruption and Natural Disasters: A Potentially Deadly Interaction

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Author Info

  • Monica Escaleras

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Florida Atlantic University)

  • Nejat Anbarci

    (Department of Economics, Florida International University)

  • Charles Register

    (Department of Economics, Florida Atlantic University)

Abstract

A number of recent studies have, separately, addressed the effects of public sector corruption and natural disasters. In this paper, we intersect these lines of research to assess whether corruption in the public sector plays a role in the havoc wrought by large scale natural disasters, using major earthquakes as the example. We first develop a brief theoretical model of the relation between these two variables and then empirically test the proposition by analyzing 344 major quakes occurring in 42 countries during the 1975 through 2003 period. We use a Negative Binomial estimation strategy that takes into account the endogenous nature of corruption and controls for a number of other factors such as earthquake frequency, magnitude, distance from population centers, and a country’s level of development which have been shown to influence a quake’s destructiveness. The results provide strong evidence that public sector corruption is both positively and significantly related to the death toll a given earthquake takes on a population.

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File URL: http://home.fau.edu/mescaler/web/working%20papers/quakecor8.30.06.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University in its series Working Papers with number 06005.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision: Aug 2006
Handle: RePEc:fal:wpaper:06005

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Keywords: Earthquake fatalities; corruption; institutional variables;

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References

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  1. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Khalid Sekkat, 2005. "Does corruption grease or sand the wheels of growth?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 69-97, January.
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  3. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  4. Danila Serra, 2005. "Empirical determinants of corruption: A sensitivity analysis," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-012, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  9. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
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  18. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Goverment," NBER Working Papers 6727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Mo, Pak Hung, 2001. "Corruption and Economic Growth," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 66-79, March.
  20. William Shughart, 2006. "Katrinanomics: The politics and economics of disaster relief," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 31-53, April.
  21. Lorenzo Pellegrini & Reyer Gerlagh, 2004. "Corruption's Effect on Growth and its Transmission Channels," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 429-456, 08.
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