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Public sector corruption and major earthquakes: A potentially deadly interaction


Recent studies have identified various negative effects of public sector corruption. We add to these by considering the association between corruption and deaths due to major earthquakes. After developing a brief theoretical model of the relation between these two variables we test the proposition by analyzing 344 quakes occurring between 1975 and 2003. The empirical model takes into account the endogeneity of corruption and controls for factors, such as earthquake frequency, magnitude, distance from population centers, and a country’s level of development which influence quake destructiveness. The results indicate that public sector corruption is positively related to earthquake deaths.

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Correspondence to Monica Escaleras.

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JEL Classifications: D31, H41, P16

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Escaleras, M., Anbarci, N. & Register, C.A. Public sector corruption and major earthquakes: A potentially deadly interaction. Public Choice 132, 209–230 (2007).

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  • Earthquake fatalities
  • Corruption
  • Institutional variables