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The Political Economy of FEMA: Did Reorganization Matter?

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Author Info

  • Russell S. Sobel

    (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)

  • Christopher Coyne

    (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)

  • Peter Leeson

    (Department of Economics, George Mason University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the political economy of FEMA’s post-9/11 merger with the Department of Homeland Security. Using panel data for the post-DHS merger but pre-Katrina period, we examine how FEMA’s much-debated reorganization has impacted the strong political influences on disaster declaration and relief spending identified by Garrett and Sobel (2003) before FEMA’s reorganization. We find that although politically-important states for the president continue to have a higher rate of disaster declaration, disaster expenditures are no longer higher in states with congressional representation on FEMA oversight committees. These results suggest reorganization has reduced political pressures within FEMA. Tullock’s theory of bureaucracy helps to explain this change.

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File URL: http://www.be.wvu.edu/phd_economics/pdf/09-10.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 09-10.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:09-10

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Related research

Keywords: bureaucracy; congressional oversight; Department of Homeland Security; Federal Emergency Management Agency.;

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  1. Barry Weingast, 1984. "The congressional-bureaucratic system: a principal agent perspective (with applications to the SEC)," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 147-191, January.
  2. William F. Chappell & Richard G. Forgette & David A. Swanson & Mark V. Van Boening, 2007. "Determinants of Government Aid to Katrina Survivors: Evidence from Survey Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 344-362, October.
  3. Anderson, Gary M & Tollison, Robert D, 1991. "Congressional Influence and Patterns of New Deal Spending, 1933-1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 161-75, April.
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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. 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.

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