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The overprotective parent - Bureaucratic agencies and natural hazard management


  • Paul Raschky



Due to the public good character of protective measures against natural disasters events, their allocation is very often in the realm of bureaucratic and expert agencies. Based on the economic theory of bureaucracy the behaviour of a bureau providing the good "protection against natural hazards" is analysed. The existing model is extended by further institutional constraints accounting for societal control mechanisms. The main proposition is that the allocation of protective measures through natural-hazard-management-agencies does also result in cost and allocative inefficiencies, however, the amount of allocative inefficiencies is relatively higher as compared to a normal bureau. This is mainly due to the potential of blame-shifting from politicians to bureaucrats. The considerations made in this paper can help to design a more efficient institutional framework in societal natural hazard management.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Raschky, 2007. "The overprotective parent - Bureaucratic agencies and natural hazard management," Working Papers 2007-03, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2007-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Reimund Schwarze & Gert G Wagner, 2004. "In the Aftermath of Dresden: New Directions in German Flood Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 29(2), pages 154-168, April.
    3. 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.
    4. James Buchanan, 2005. "Afraid to be free: Dependency as desideratum," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 19-31, July.
    5. William Shughart, 2006. "Katrinanomics: The politics and economics of disaster relief," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 31-53, April.
    6. Shirley Kress, 1989. "Niskanen effects in the California Community Colleges," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 127-140, May.
    7. Duizendstraal, Anton & Nentjes, Andries, 1994. "Organizational Slack in Subsidized Nonprofit Institutions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(3-4), pages 297-321, December.
    8. Ott, Mack, 1980. "Bureaucracy, monopoly, and the demand for municipal services," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 362-382, November.
    9. Grosskopf Shawna & Hayes Kathy, 1993. "Local Public Sector Bureaucrats and Their Input Choices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 151-166, March.
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    More about this item


    Theory of bureaucracy; natural hazards; blame;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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