Administrative Burdens and Citizen Likelihood to Seek Local Public Services: The Case of Hurricane Shelters

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Drawing on the theory of administrative burdens, we assess how a variety of rules surrounding access to public hurricane shelters influences residents’ likelihood of using this service. We employ three experiments embedded in an online survey, in which we vary the requirements regarding public safety and pets, common at shelters, which could create burdens for residents seeking to access shelters. Our results suggest that residents are more likely to make use of shelters when rules require shelters be staffed by local or state police. However, rules requiring police to check shelter-goers for outstanding warrants or sex-offender registration do not impact the likelihood of going to a shelter. Finally, rules forbidding pets lead to a significant decrease in willingness to evacuate to a shelter. In short, some administrative burdens surrounding access to hurricane shelters may have a significant impact on the degree to which residents seek access to shelters during hazards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-579
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Performance & Management Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Urban Management
  • local government
  • public administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


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