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Health and the Political Agency of Women

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  • Sonia Bhalotra
  • Irma Clots-Figueras

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Abstract

We investigate whether politician gender influences policy outcomes in India. We focus upon antenatal and postnatal public health provision since the costs of poor services in this domain are disproportionately borne by women. Accounting for potential endogeneity of politician gender and the sample composition of births, we find that a one standard deviation increase in women’s political representation results in a 1.5 percentage point reduction in neonatal mortality. Women politicians are more likely to build public health facilities and encourage antenatal care, institutional delivery and immunization. The results are topical given that a bill proposing quotas for women in state assemblies is currently pending in the Indian Parliament.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 11/280.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:11/280

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Keywords: political identity; gender; mortality; health; social preferences; India.;

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  1. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women's Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," IZA Discussion Papers 7771, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nagarajan, Hari K. & Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing, 2011. "Can political reservations affect political equilibria in the long-term? Evidence from local elections in rural India," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 59, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  2. Patricia Justino & Ivan Cardona & Rebecca Mitchell & Catherine Müller, 2012. "Quantifying the Impact of Women’s Participation in Post-Conflict Economic Recovery," HiCN Working Papers 131, Households in Conflict Network.
  3. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Maty Konte, 2013. "Why Are Women Less Democratic Than Men? Evidence from Sub-Saharan African Countries," Working Papers halshs-00802838, HAL.
  4. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Cassan, Guilhem & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2014. "Religion, politician identity and development outcomes: Evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 4-17.
  5. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Nagarajan, Hari K. & Fang, Xia, 2011. "Does female reservation affect long-term political outcomes ? Evidence from rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5708, The World Bank.
  6. van den Bold, Mara & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Gillespie, Stuart, 2013. "Women’s empowerment and nutrition: An evidence review:," IFPRI discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 1294, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Guilhem Cassan & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Religion and Culture National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brollo, Fernanda & Troiano, Ugo, 2013. "What Happens When a Woman Wins an Election? Evidence from Close Races in Brazil," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 161, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  9. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 740, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. Santosh Kumar & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Political Decentralization, Women's Reservation and Child Health Outcomes: A Case Study of Rural Bihar," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2012-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  11. Ghani, Ejaz & Mani, Anandi & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2013. "Can political empowerment help economic empowerment ? women leaders and female labor force participation in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6675, The World Bank.

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