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Can extreme rainfall trigger democratic change? The role of flood-induced corruption

journal contribution
posted on 01.06.2017, 00:00 authored by Md Habibur Rahman, Nejat AnbarciNejat Anbarci, Prasad BhattacharyaPrasad Bhattacharya, Mehmet UlubasogluMehmet Ulubasoglu
Using a new dataset of extreme rainfall covering 130 countries from 1979 to 2009, this paper investigates whether and how extreme rainfall-driven flooding affects democratic conditions. Our key finding indicates that extreme rainfall-induced flooding exerts two opposing effects on democracy. On one hand, flooding leads to corruption in the chains of emergency relief distribution and other post-disaster assistance, which in turn impels the citizenry to demand more democracy. On the other hand, flooding induces autocratic tendencies in incumbent regimes because efficient post-disaster management with no dissent, chaos or plunder might require government to undertake repressive actions. The net estimated effect is an improvement in democratic conditions.

History

Journal

Public choice

Volume

171

Issue

3-4

Pagination

331 - 358

Publisher

Springer

Location

New York, N.Y.

ISSN

0048-5829

eISSN

1573-7101

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2017, Springer