Death tolls from natural disasters: Influence of interactions among fiscal decentralization, institutions and economic development
Previous research shows that decentralization plays a key role in the reduction of damage caused by natural disasters. The effect of decentralization will differ according a country’s level of economic development. To investigate this matter further, this paper attempts to investigate how quality of institution influences the effectiveness of decentralization. This paper uses cross-country data from 1990 to 2000 to examine how decentralization, institution, and economic development influence the number of deaths caused by natural disasters. The major findings are that decentralization reduces deaths and its effect is strengthened in countries with lower level of public sector corruption and better functioning legal systems. Furthermore, the interaction between decentralization and high quality institutions has a greater contribution to the reduction of deaths in more developed countries. This implies that decentralization makes a greater contribution to mitigating damage in countries with higher quality institutions. However, when essential technology does not exist, decentralization and quality of institution play only a minor role in the mitigation of damage in the event of a natural disaster.
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