Could bad weather be responsible for U.S. corruption? Natural disasters create resource windfalls in the states they strike by triggering federally provided natural-disaster relief. By increasing the benefit of fraudulent appropriation and creating new opportunities for such theft, disaster-relief windfalls may also increase corruption. We investigate this hypothesis by exploring the effect of disaster relief provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on public corruption. The results support our hypothesis. Each additional $100 per capita in FEMA relief increases the average state's corruption by nearly 102 percent. Our findings suggest notoriously corrupt regions of the United States, such as the Gulf Coast, are in part notoriously corrupt because natural disasters frequently strike them. They attract more disaster relief, which makes them more corrupt. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jakob Svensson, 2003.
"Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a Cross Section of Firms,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 207-230.
- Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Who must pay bribes and how much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2486, The World Bank.
- Svensson, Jakob, 2002. "Who Must Pay Bribes and How Much? Evidence from a cross-section of firms," Seminar Papers 713, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 219-241, September.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1998. "Redistributive Public Employment," NBER Working Papers 6746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Easterly, William & Baqir, Reza & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Scholarly Articles 4553013, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Russell Sobel & Peter Leeson, 2006. "Government's response to Hurricane Katrina: A public choice analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 55-73, April.
- Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "Foreign aid and rent-seeking," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 437-461, August.
- Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "Foreign aid and rent-seeking," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1880, The World Bank.
- Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2003. "The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 496-509, July.
- Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2002. "The political economy of FEMA disaster payments," Working Papers 2002-012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- 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, Enero-Jun.
- Glaeser, Edward L. & Saks, Raven E., 2006. "Corruption in America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1053-1072, August.
- William Shughart, 2006. "Katrinanomics: The politics and economics of disaster relief," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 31-53, April.
- Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
- Goel, Rajeev K & Nelson, Michael A, 1998. "Corruption and Government Size: A Disaggregated Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(1-2), pages 107-120, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)