Don’t Blame the Weather: Federal Natural Disaster Aid and Public Corruption

Do episodes of extreme weather conditions contribute to the geographic patterns in public corruption across the United States? Our findings do not support the view that public corruption could potentially be reduced by revamping the disaster aid process. Although we cannot claim to have definitively established the absence of any relationship, we believe our findings raise doubts about the economic significance of any relationship that exists. Accordingly, policymakers should question whether anticorruption efforts should therefore be directed at other areas in which there is convincing evidence that these efforts can have an effect.

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