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Environmental Disasters and Electoral Cycle: An Empirical Analysis on Floods and Landslides in Italy

Alessio D'Amato (), Giovanni Marin () and Andrea Rampa ()

No 217, SEEDS Working Papers from SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to provide an empirical analysis of the potential drivers of regulators' behaviour in the presence of a potential natural disaster. Specifically, we focus our attention on oods and landslides, and select building permits as our measure of regulatory stringency. We rst build a simpli ed theoretical framework based on political agency modelling, in order to derive theoretical results and testable implications. The empirical analysis is undertaken by relying on a unique dataset covering Italy in the period 1995-2013 and containing information on soil sealing, building permits and natural disasters (floods and landslides), together with data on elections, at a provincial level. Our main conclusions imply that a bad history in terms of disasters decreases building permits, suggesting that such a unfavourable past strengthens the relevance of 'green' voters. On the other hand, the relevance of the construction sector increases the number of building permits issued. Finally, the closeness to elections appears to increase the number of building permits, indirectly suggesting a stronger reactivity of 'brown' voters, linked to the construction sector or not affected by environmental disasters.

Keywords: International Trade; Hazardous waste; Gravity model; Environmental policy; Factors endowment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F18 F64 O44 Q27 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env
Date: 2017-04, Revised 2017-04
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Downloads: (external link) First version, 2017 (application/pdf) Revised version, 2017 (application/pdf)

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