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Weathering Corruption

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Author Info

  • Peter T. Leeson

    (Mercatus Center, George Mason University)

  • Russell S. Sobel

    (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)

Abstract

Could bad weather be responsible for U.S. corruption? This paper argues that natural disasters create resource windfalls in the states they strike by triggering federally-provided natural disaster relief. Consistent with the theory that natural resource and foreign aid windfalls increase public corruption, disaster relief windfalls likely do as well. We investigate this hypothesis by exploring the e¤ect of FEMA-provided disaster relief on public corruption. The results support our hypothesis. Each additional $1 per capita in average annual FEMA relief increases corruption nearly 2.5 percent in the average state. Eliminating FEMA disaster relief would reduce corruption more than 20 percent in the average state. Our ?ndings suggest that notoriously corrupt regions of the United States, such as the Gulf Coast, are notoriously corrupt because natural disasters frequently strike them.

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File URL: http://www.be.wvu.edu/phd_economics/pdf/06-07.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 06-07 Classification-.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:06-07

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References

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 219-241, September.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Claudia Goldin, 2006. "Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number glae06-1, May.
  3. 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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Cited by:
  1. Emily Chamlee-Wright & Virgil Storr, 2011. "Social capital, lobbying and community-based interest groups," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 167-185, October.
  2. Dong, Bin & Torgler, Benno, 2013. "Causes of corruption: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 152-169.
  3. Monica Escaleras & Charles Register, 2012. "Fiscal decentralization and natural hazard risks," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 165-183, April.
  4. Spyros Skouras & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2014. "Electoral misgovernance cycles: evidence from wildfires and tax evasion in Greece," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 533-559, June.
  5. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Impact of natural disaster on public sector corruption," MPRA Paper 49760, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Coyne, Christopher J., 2011. "Constitutions and crisis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 351-357.
  7. Busse, Matthias & Gröning, Steffen, 2011. "The resource curse revisited: Governance and natural resources," HWWI Research Papers 106, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  8. Spyros Skouras & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2011. "Electoral Misgovernance Cycles: Evidence from wildfires and tax evasion in Greece and elsewhere," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 47, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  9. Yoshito Takasaki, 2013. "Do natural disasters beget fraud victimization?: Unrealized coping through labor migration among the poor," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2013-002, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba.
  10. Emily Chamlee-Wright & Virgil Storr, 2010. "Expectations of government’s response to disaster," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 253-274, July.
  11. Adriana Cordis, 2009. "Judicial checks on corruption in the United States," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 375-401, November.

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