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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2011. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/280, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:11/280
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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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