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Earthquake Propensity and the Politics of Mortality Prevention

  • Keefer, Philip
  • Neumayer, Eric
  • Plümper, Thomas

Summary Governments can significantly reduce earthquake mortality by enforcing quake-proof construction regulation. We examine why many governments do not. First, mortality is lower in countries with higher earthquake propensity, where the payoffs to investments in mortality prevention are greater. Second, the opportunity costs of these investments are higher in poorer countries; mortality is correspondingly less responsive to propensity in poor countries. Third, mortality is higher at any level of quake propensity when governments have fewer incentives to provide public goods, such as in autocracies with less institutionalized ruling parties or in more corrupt countries.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Pages: 1530-1541

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:9:p:1530-1541
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Plumper, Thomas & Martin, Christian W, 2003. " Democracy, Government Spending, and Economic Growth: A Political-Economic Explanation of the Barro-Effect," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 117(1-2), pages 27-50, October.
  2. Anbarci, Nejat & Escaleras, Monica & Register, Charles A., 2005. "Earthquake fatalities: the interaction of nature and political economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1907-1933, September.
  3. Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography, and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 271-284, May.
  4. J. Scott Long & Jeremy Freese, 2006. "Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables using Stata, 2nd Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 2, number long2, November.
  5. Thomas Plümper & Eric Neumayer, 2007. "Famine mortality, rational political inactivity, and international food aid," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25169, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Colin F. Camerer & Howard Kunreuther, 1989. "Decision processes for low probability events: Policy implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 565-592.
  7. Razvan Vlaicu, 2008. "Democracy, Credibility, and Clientelism," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 371-406, October.
  8. Philip Keefer, 2005. "Democracy, Public Expenditures, and the Poor: Understanding Political Incentives for Providing Public Services," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 1-27.
  9. Monica Escaleras & Nejat Anbarci & Charles Register, 2007. "Public sector corruption and major earthquakes: A potentially deadly interaction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 209-230, July.
  10. McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D & Coursey, Don L, 1993. " Insurance for Low-Probability Hazards: A Bimodal Response to Unlikely Events," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 95-116, August.
  11. Kenny, Charles, 2009. "Why Do People Die In Earthquakes? The Costs, Benefits And Institutions Of Disaster Risk Reduction In Developing Countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4823, The World Bank.
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