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Health and the Political Agency of Women

  • Sonia Bhalotra
  • Irma Clots-Figueras

    ()

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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File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2011/wp280.pdf
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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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  1. Sonia Bhalotra, 2007. "Spending to Save? State Health Expenditure and Infant Mortality in India," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/169, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. 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).
  3. Sonia Bhalotra & Arthur van Soest, 2005. "Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India: Dynamics, Frailty, and Fecundity," Working Papers 219, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  4. Bhalotra, Sonia, 2010. "Fatal fluctuations? Cyclicality in infant mortality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 7-19, September.
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  6. Andreoni, James & Vesterlund, Lise, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," Staff General Research Papers 1951, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2007. "Are female leaders good for education? : Evidence from India," Economics Working Papers we077342, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
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  10. Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey, 2005. "Money for nothing : the dire straits of medical practice in Delhi, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3669, The World Bank.
  11. Aizer, Anna & Currie, Janet, 2004. "Networks or neighborhoods? Correlations in the use of publicly-funded maternity care in California," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2573-2585, December.
  12. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  13. Petia Topalova & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," Working Papers id:1617, eSocialSciences.
  14. 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.
  15. 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).
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Daughters and Left-Wing Voting," IZA Discussion Papers 2103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Edlund, Lena Cecilia & Haider, Laila & Pande, Rohini, 2004. "Unmarried Parenthood and Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 4478, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2003. "Democracy, public expenditures, and the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3164, The World Bank.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2006. "Health and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 313-318, May.
  28. 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.
  29. 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).
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