The Impact of Urban Sprawl on Disaster Relief Spending: An Exploratory Study

49 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2016

See all articles by Thomas E. Lambert

Thomas E. Lambert

University of Louisville

James Catchen

Northern Kentucky University

Victoria Vogelgesang

Northern Kentucky University

Date Written: February 26, 2016

Abstract

Followers of urban affairs and public policy have written a lot over the years about the rise of suburbia and development beyond older city boundaries in the United States, whether such development has been called urban, suburban, or ex-urban sprawl. Many writers have focused on various issues concerning sprawl, especially on the unintended consequences that new development has had on municipal finances, neighborhood income and residential segregation, and transportation planning among other issues. Over the last decade or so, a new area in the literature on sprawl has focused on how the “built-environment” of residential areas can impact health and emergency services. This research note adds to this latest set of papers on sprawl by trying to empirically estimate the impacts of sprawl in metropolitan regions on United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spending on “public assistance.” This spending encompasses money spent on debris removal, emergency protective measures, and rehabilitating or rebuilding infrastructure, public buildings, public utilities, parks and recreational areas, etc. in post-disaster relief efforts. In this exploratory analysis the results indicate that urban sprawl is a factor in influencing the level of FEMA public assistance spending in the US.

Keywords: disasters, disaster relief, emergency management, FEMA, infrastructure, United States Federal Emergency Management Agency, urban sprawl

JEL Classification: R14, R28

Suggested Citation

Lambert, Thomas E. and Catchen, James and Vogelgesang, Victoria, The Impact of Urban Sprawl on Disaster Relief Spending: An Exploratory Study (February 26, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2738396 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2738396

Thomas E. Lambert (Contact Author)

University of Louisville ( email )

Economics Dept.
Louisville, KY 40292

James Catchen

Northern Kentucky University ( email )

Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States

Victoria Vogelgesang

Northern Kentucky University ( email )

Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States

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