Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Health and the Political Agency of Women

Contents:

Author Info

  • Sonia Bhalotra
  • Irma Clots-Figueras

    ()

Abstract

We investigate whether women’s political representation in state legislatures improves public provision of antenatal and early childhood health services in the districts from which they are elected, arguing that the costs of poor services in this domain are disproportionately borne by women. Using several large representative samples of data from India and accounting for potential endogeneity of politician gender and the sample composition of births, we find that a 10 percentage point increase in women’s political representation results in a 2.1 percentage point reduction in neonatal mortality, an outcome that is closely tied to investments in maternal health. Importantly, we are able to probe the underlying mechanisms. We find that politician gender exerts an impact on both the health infrastructure and the information and encouragement that recent studies suggest is important in determining the demand for public health services. Not only are more public health facilities built under women but there is an increase in antenatal care visits, institutional delivery and breastfeeding. Our findings contribute evidence in favour of women’s political representation as an under-utilised tool for addressing infectious disease and death in developing countries.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.essex.ac.uk/economics/discussion-papers/papers-text/dp739.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 739.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 13 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:739

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Wivenhoe Park, COLCHESTER. CO4 3SQ
Phone: +44-1206-872728
Fax: +44-1206-872724
Web page: http://www.essex.ac.uk/economics/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Postal: Discussion Papers Administrator, Department of Economics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, U.K.
Email:

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2012. "Are Female Leaders Good for Education? Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 212-44, January.
  2. Casas-Arce, Pablo & Saiz, Albert, 2011. "Women and Power: Unwilling, Ineffective, or Held Back?," IZA Discussion Papers 5645, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Sonia Bhalotra, 2007. "Fatal Fluctuations? - Cyclicality in Infant Mortality in India," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/181, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Andreoni,J. & Vesterlund,L., 1998. "Which is the fair sex? : Gender differences in altruism," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. Besley, Timothy J. & Case, Anne, 2002. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 3498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Grant Miller, 2008. "Women's Suffrage, Political Responsiveness, and Child Survival in American History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1287-1327, August.
  7. Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2003. "Democracy, public expenditures, and the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3164, The World Bank.
  8. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2012. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality In Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence From Micro Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1294-1317, December.
  9. Anna Aizer & Janet Currie, 2002. "Networks or Neighborhoods? Correlations in the Use of Publicly-Funded Maternity Care in California," NBER Working Papers 9209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "The impact of public spending on health: does money matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(10), pages 1309-1323, November.
  11. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & van Soest, Arthur, 2006. "Birth Spacing, Fertility and Neonatal Mortality in India: Dynamics, Frailty and Fecundity," IZA Discussion Papers 2163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Pettersson-Lidbom , Per, 2003. "Do Parties Matter for Fiscal Policy Choices? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Research Papers in Economics 2003:15, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  13. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2010. "Daughters and Left-Wing Voting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 213-227, May.
  14. Filmer, Deon & Hammer, Jeffrey S & Pritchett, Lant H, 2000. "Weak Links in the Chain: A Diagnosis of Health Policy in Poor Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 199-224, August.
  15. Lori A. Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Petia Topalova, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," NBER Working Papers 14198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  17. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success," Economics Discussion Papers 740, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  18. Esther Duflo, 2003. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
  19. Lena Edlund & Rohini Pande, 2002. "Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap And The Decline In Marriage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961, August.
  20. Sonia Bhalotra, 2007. "Spending to save? State health expenditure and infant mortality in India," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(9), pages 911-928.
  21. Edlund, Lena Cecilia & Haider, Laila & Pande, Rohini, 2004. "Unmarried Parenthood and Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 4478, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  23. David S. Lee, 2001. "The Electoral Advantage to Incumbency and Voters' Valuation of Politicians' Experience: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Elections to the U.S..," NBER Working Papers 8441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Grant Miller & B. Piedad Urdinola, 2010. "Cyclicality, Mortality, and the Value of Time: The Case of Coffee Price Fluctuations and Child Survival in Colombia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 113-155, 02.
  25. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2006. "Health and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 313-318, May.
  26. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Rawlings, Samantha, 2010. "Intergenerational Persistence in Health in Developing Countries: The Penalty of Gender Inequality?," IZA Discussion Papers 5371, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  27. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Clots-Figueras, Irma, 2011. "Women in politics: Evidence from the Indian States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 664-690, August.
  29. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
  30. Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey, 2007. "Money for nothing: The dire straits of medical practice in Delhi, India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-36, May.
  31. Lori Beaman, 2007. "Women Politicians, Gender Bias, and Policy-making in Rural India," Working Papers id:835, eSocialSciences.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Sonia R. Bhalotra & Guilhem Cassan & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 19173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success," Economics Discussion Papers 740, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  4. repec:cge:warwcg:160 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Maty Konte, 2013. "Why are Women less Democratic than Men? Evidence from Sub-Saharan African Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 4524, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Brollo, Fernanda & Troiano, Ugo, 2013. "What Happens When a Woman Wins an Election? Evidence from Close Races in Brazil," MPRA Paper 52244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. 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.
  8. Santosh Kumar & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Political Decentralization, Women's Reservation and Child Health Outcomes: A Case Study of Rural Bihar," Working papers 2012-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. van den Bold, Mara & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Gillespie, Stuart, 2013. "Women’s empowerment and nutrition: An evidence review:," IFPRI discussion papers 1294, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:739. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Essex Economics Web Manager).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.