The Political Economy of Health Services Provision in Brazil
We examine the impact of local politics and voter preferences on the allocation of publicly subsidized the Unified and Decentralized Health Care System (SUS) health services across 4,338 counties in Brazil. SUS clinics, doctors, and nurses (per capita) are higher in counties with a higher share of uninsured in the population and with higher per capita incomes, as is consistent with a probabilistic voting model. Political participation (i.e., the fraction of the poor who vote) and the political power of the mayor (his vote share in the last election) are associated with more visible health inputs, namely, clinics and consultation rooms, but not with more doctors and nurses.
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