IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Ex-Urban Sprawl and Fire Response in the United States


  • Thomas Lambert
  • Arun Srinivasan
  • Matin Katirai


Much has been written in the post-World War II era in the United States about the rise of suburbia and development beyond older city boundaries, whether such development has been called urban, suburban, or ex-urban sprawl. Many writers have focused on various issues concerning sprawl, especially on the unintended consequences that new development has had on (among other issues) municipal finances, neighborhood income and residential segregation, and transportation planning. This last one is important since post-World War II development has mostly centered around the automobile in the United States. Over the last decade, a new area in the literature of sprawl has focused on how the "built-environment" of residential areas can impact health. For example, authors have chronicled how sprawled regions have higher auto vehicle accidents per capita, greater obesity rates, worse carbon emissions (due to greater travel by automobile), and delays in emergency medical service responses. This article adds to the latest set of papers on sprawl by empirically estimating the impact of sprawl in metropolitan regions on fire incidents per capita, firefighter response times, as well as property losses, and deaths due to fire. The results of our exploratory analysis indicate that urban sprawl is an important factor in influencing firefighting issues and outcomes in the United States. Moreover, urban sprawl frequently becomes a factor in delayed response to fires which, in turn, could lead to additional deaths and property loss.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Lambert & Arun Srinivasan & Matin Katirai, 2012. "Ex-Urban Sprawl and Fire Response in the United States," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 967-988.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:4:p:967-988
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624460407

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Coyne & Abigail Hall & Patrick McLaughlin & Ann Zerkle, 2014. "A hidden cost of war: the impact of mobilizing reserve troops on emergency response times," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 289-303, December.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:46:y:2012:i:4:p:967-988. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.