Earthquake Propensity and the Politics of Mortality Prevention

40 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2009 Last revised: 14 Dec 2013

See all articles by Philip Keefer

Philip Keefer

Inter-American Development Bank

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Thomas Pluemper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics; University of Essex - Department of Government

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Date Written: May 27, 2010

Abstract

Governments can significantly reduce earthquake mortality by enforcing quake-proof construction regulation. We examine why many governments do not. First, mortality is lower in countries with higher earthquake propensity, where the payoffs to investments in mortality prevention are greater. Second, the opportunity costs of these investments are higher in poorer countries; mortality is correspondingly less responsive to propensity in poor countries. Third, mortality is higher at any level of quake propensity when governments have fewer incentives to provide public goods, such as in autocracies with less institutionalized ruling parties or in more corrupt countries.

Keywords: disaster, mortality, political economy, democracy, risk, public goods

Suggested Citation

Keefer, Philip and Neumayer, Eric and Plümper, Thomas, Earthquake Propensity and the Politics of Mortality Prevention (May 27, 2010). World Development, Vol. 39, No. 9, pp. 1530-1541, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1514325

Philip Keefer (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States
202-623-1961 (Phone)

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

Thomas Plümper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics ( email )

Vienna
Austria

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsci.org/pluemper

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