Public Sector Corruption and Natural Disasters: A Potentially Deadly Interaction
A number of recent studies have, separately, addressed the effects of public sector corruption and natural disasters. In this paper, we intersect these lines of research to assess whether corruption in the public sector plays a role in the havoc wrought by large scale natural disasters, using major earthquakes as the example. We first develop a brief theoretical model of the relation between these two variables and then empirically test the proposition by analyzing 344 major quakes occurring in 42 countries during the 1975 through 2003 period. We use a Negative Binomial estimation strategy that takes into account the endogenous nature of corruption and controls for a number of other factors such as earthquake frequency, magnitude, distance from population centers, and a country’s level of development which have been shown to influence a quake’s destructiveness. The results provide strong evidence that public sector corruption is both positively and significantly related to the death toll a given earthquake takes on a population.
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|Date of revision:||Aug 2006|
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