Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=986364
 
 

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The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments


Thomas A. Garrett


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division

Russell S. Sobel


The Citadel - School of Business Administration


Economic Inquiry, Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. 469-509, July 2003

Abstract:     
We find that presidential and congressional influences affect the rate of disaster declaration and the allocation of FEMA disaster expenditures across states. States politically important to the president have a higher rate of disaster declaration by the president, and disaster expenditures are higher in states having congressional representation on FEMA oversight committees. Election year impacts are also found. Our models predict that nearly half of all disaster relief is motivated politically rather than by need. The findings reject a purely altruistic model of FEMA assistance and question the relative effectiveness of government versus private disaster relief.

Keywords: FEMA, government failure, election year, private diaster relief, Red Cross

JEL Classification: D7, H5

Accepted Paper Series





Not Available For Download

Date posted: May 16, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Garrett, Thomas A. and Sobel, Russell S., The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 41, No. 3, pp. 469-509, July 2003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=986364

Contact Information

Thomas A. Garrett
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division ( email )
411 Locust St
Saint Louis, MO 63011
United States
Russell S. Sobel (Contact Author)
The Citadel - School of Business Administration ( email )
Charleston, SC 29409
United States
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