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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. Beaman, Lori & Chattopadhyay, Raghebendra & Duflo, Esther & Pande, Rohini & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," Working Paper Series rwp08-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Micro Data," ISER Discussion Paper 0685, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  7. 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).
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961.
  11. Clots-Figueras, Irma, 2007. "Are female leaders good for education? : Evidence from India," UC3M Working papers. Economics we077342, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  12. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2005. "Women in politics: evidence from the Indian states," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19294, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. 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.
  14. Sonia Bhalotra & Arthur van Soest, 2004. "Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India: Dynamics, Frailty and Fecundity," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 04/567, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2003. "Democracy, public expenditures, and the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3164, The World Bank.
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