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The Political Economy of FEMA: Did Reorganization Matter?

Author

Listed:
  • Russell S. Sobel

    (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)

  • Christopher Coyne

    (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)

  • Peter Leeson

    (Department of Economics, George Mason University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the political economy of FEMA’s post-9/11 merger with the Department of Homeland Security. Using panel data for the post-DHS merger but pre-Katrina period, we examine how FEMA’s much-debated reorganization has impacted the strong political influences on disaster declaration and relief spending identified by Garrett and Sobel (2003) before FEMA’s reorganization. We find that although politically-important states for the president continue to have a higher rate of disaster declaration, disaster expenditures are no longer higher in states with congressional representation on FEMA oversight committees. These results suggest reorganization has reduced political pressures within FEMA. Tullock’s theory of bureaucracy helps to explain this change.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell S. Sobel & Christopher Coyne & Peter Leeson, 2009. "The Political Economy of FEMA: Did Reorganization Matter?," Working Papers 09-10, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:09-10
    as

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    File URL: http://be.wvu.edu/phd_economics/pdf/09-10.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. William F. Chappell & Richard G. Forgette & David A. Swanson & Mark V. Van Boening, 2007. "Determinants of Government Aid to Katrina Survivors: Evidence from Survey Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 344-362, October.
    3. Barry Weingast, 1984. "The congressional-bureaucratic system: a principal agent perspective (with applications to the SEC)," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 147-191, January.
    4. Anderson, Gary M & Tollison, Robert D, 1991. "Congressional Influence and Patterns of New Deal Spending, 1933-1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 161-175, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Spyros Skouras & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2011. "Electoral Misgovernance Cycles: Evidence from wildfires and tax evasion in Greece and elsewhere," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 47, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    2. Spyros Skouras & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2014. "Electoral misgovernance cycles: evidence from wildfires and tax evasion in Greece," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 533-559, June.
    3. Joshua Hall & Amanda Ross & Christopher Yencha, 2015. "The political economy of the Essential Air Service program," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 147-164, October.
    4. Joshua Hall & Shree Baba Pokharel, 2017. "Does the Median Voter or Special Interests Determine State Highway Expenditures? Recent Evidence," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 45(1), pages 59-69, March.
    5. Emily Chamlee-Wright & Virgil Storr, 2011. "Social capital, lobbying and community-based interest groups," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 167-185, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bureaucracy; congressional oversight; Department of Homeland Security; Federal Emergency Management Agency.;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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