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Can Elected Minority Representatives Affect Health Worker Visits? Evidence from India

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  • Elizabeth Kaletski
  • Nishith Prakash

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between elected minority representatives, i.e. Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) and health worker visits in rural India. We estimate the effect of minority representation on the frequency of visits to villages by health workers by exploiting the state variation in the share of seats reserved for the two minority groups in state legislative assemblies mandated by the Constitution of India. Using data from state and village level surveys on 15 major Indian states, we find that ST representatives increase the frequency of visits by both doctors and mobile medical units. In contrast, SC representatives have a tendency to decrease the frequency of visits by mobile medical units. Potential explanations for the differential impact of SC and ST representatives are also explored, including geographic isolation, support for the Congress Party, a shift in power, and relative population shares.

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  • Elizabeth Kaletski & Nishith Prakash, 2017. "Can Elected Minority Representatives Affect Health Worker Visits? Evidence from India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 67-102, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:1:p:67-102
    DOI: 10.1111/rode.12255
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    1. Elizabeth Kaletski & Nishith Prakash, 2016. "Affirmative action policy in developing countries: Lessons learned and a way forward," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2016-52, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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