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.
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.:
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1998.
"Redistributive Public Employment,"
NBER Working Papers
6746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, April.
- Glaeser, Edward L. & Saks, Raven E., 2006. "Corruption in America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1053-1072, August.
- Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
- Thomas A. Garrett & Russell S. Sobel, 2003.
"The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 496-509, July.
- Svensson, Jakob, 2000.
"Foreign aid and rent-seeking,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 437-461, August.
- William Shughart, 2006. "Katrinanomics: The politics and economics of disaster relief," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 31-53, April.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:51:y:2008:i:4:p:667-681. 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: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.