Weathering Corruption

Posted: 22 Jun 2006 Last revised: 28 Jul 2010

See all articles by Peter T. Leeson

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Russell S. Sobel

The Citadel - School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 1, 2006

Abstract

Could bad weather be responsible for U.S. corruption? Natural disasters create resource windfalls in the states they strike by triggering federally-provided natural disaster relief. Like windfalls created by the natural resource curse and foreign aid, disaster relief windfalls may also increase corruption. We investigate this hypothesis by exploring the effect of FEMA-provided disaster relief on public corruption. The results support our hypothesis. Each additional $1 per capita in average annual FEMA relief increases corruption nearly 2.5 percent in the average state. Eliminating FEMA disaster relief would reduce corruption more than 20 percent in the average state. Our findings suggest that notoriously corrupt regions of the United States, such as the Gulf Coast, are notoriously corrupt because natural disasters frequently strike them. They attract more disaster relief making them more corrupt.

Suggested Citation

Leeson, Peter T. and Sobel, Russell S., Weathering Corruption (June 1, 2006). Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 51, No. 4, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=910878

Peter T. Leeson (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.peterleeson.com

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ppe.mercatus.org/scholars/peter-leeson

Russell S. Sobel

The Citadel - School of Business ( email )

171 Moultrie St.
Charleston, SC 29409
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
1,239
PlumX Metrics