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Dealing with Disaster - Analyzing the Emergency Constitutions of the U.S. States

29 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2017  

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies

Stefan Voigt

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: June 30, 2017

Abstract

The study of constitutional emergency provisions remains in its infancy. We present the first overview and analysis of how specific emergency provisions vary across the 50 US state constitutions. The emergency provisions vary considerably across states with the Texan constitution exhibiting the most limited provisions and Georgia the most expansive ones. A cluster analysis shows support for dividing the U.S. constitutions into six 'families' and reveals the Texan constitution as substantially different from the rest. We explore whether these constitutional choices may have been affected by disaster risk, prevailing ideology, state wealth and other factors for which historical data exist. We provide tentative evidence showing that emergency provisions have a significant effect on both the number of fatalities as well as on the damage suffered in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Clearly, therefore, the paper has implications for constitutional policy.

Keywords: constitutional emergency provisions, state of emergency, état de siege, regime transformation

JEL Classification: K40, Z13

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian and Voigt, Stefan, Dealing with Disaster - Analyzing the Emergency Constitutions of the U.S. States (June 30, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2995581

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Stefan Voigt

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49-40-428385782 (Phone)
+49-40-428386794 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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