Title

Public Perceptions of Code Enforcement and Safer Buildings in Latin America and the Caribbean

Date of Publication

1-1-2019 12:00 AM

Publication Date

2019

Security Theme

Critical Infrastructure

Keywords

srhreports, criticalinfrastructure, Building codes, Corruption, Disaster risk reduction, Latin America and the Caribbean, Public opinion, Regulatory enforcement

Description

© 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers. Well-designed and properly enforced building codes save lives in hazard events like major earthquakes and hurricanes. Yet around the world, in "developed" and "developing" countries alike, code enforcement is not often on people's minds, even in high-risk areas. How do the citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean value the implementation of building codes? And how do they view the effectiveness and integrity of government enforcement of these regulations? Analyzing 2014 survey data from 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries, the authors first explore cross-national differences in attitudes toward code enforcement and safer construction practices. Next, they use factor analysis to assess whether or not public attitudes about code enforcement, corruption, and the value of safer buildings are conceptually distinct. Finally, the authors use multilevel modeling to test a series of hypotheses regarding public support for safer construction practices. They find that expectations about corruption and code enforcement do shape the value that people place on safer construction. Living in an earthquake- or hurricane-prone country, however, does not, all else being equal, affect people's support for safer, if costlier, buildings.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Public Perceptions of Code Enforcement and Safer Buildings in Latin America and the Caribbean

© 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers. Well-designed and properly enforced building codes save lives in hazard events like major earthquakes and hurricanes. Yet around the world, in "developed" and "developing" countries alike, code enforcement is not often on people's minds, even in high-risk areas. How do the citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean value the implementation of building codes? And how do they view the effectiveness and integrity of government enforcement of these regulations? Analyzing 2014 survey data from 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries, the authors first explore cross-national differences in attitudes toward code enforcement and safer construction practices. Next, they use factor analysis to assess whether or not public attitudes about code enforcement, corruption, and the value of safer buildings are conceptually distinct. Finally, the authors use multilevel modeling to test a series of hypotheses regarding public support for safer construction practices. They find that expectations about corruption and code enforcement do shape the value that people place on safer construction. Living in an earthquake- or hurricane-prone country, however, does not, all else being equal, affect people's support for safer, if costlier, buildings.