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The Urban-Rural Gap in Health Care Infrastructure – Does Government Ideology Matter?

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  • Niklas Potrafke
  • Felix Rösel

Abstract

Spatial inequalities in publicly provided goods such as health care facilities have substantial socioeconomic effects. Little is known, however, as to why publicly provided goods diverge among urban and rural regions. We exploit narrow parliamentary majorities in German states between 1950 and 2014 in an RD framework to show that government ideology influences the urban-rural gap in public infrastructure. Leftwing governments relocate hospital beds from rural regions. We propose that leftwing governments do so to gratify their more urban constituencies. In turn, spatial inequalities in hospital infrastructure increase, which seems to influence general and infant mortality.

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  • Niklas Potrafke & Felix Rösel, 2019. "The Urban-Rural Gap in Health Care Infrastructure – Does Government Ideology Matter?," ifo Working Paper Series 300, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_300
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    Cited by:

    1. Felix Rösel, 2019. "Krankenhäuser auf dem Land: Bürger sind gegen längere Wege," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 26(05), pages 16-19, October.
    2. Potrafke, Niklas, 2020. "Dragnet-Controls and Government Ideology," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 485-501.
    3. Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2020. "The Real Estate Transfer Tax and Government Ideology: Evidence from the German States," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 76(1), pages 100-120.
    4. Maas, Alexander S. & Lu, Liang, 2020. "“Elections have Consequences”: Partisan Politics are Literally Killing Us," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304457, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Björn Kauder & Manuela Krause & Niklas Potrafke, 2020. "Do Left-Wing Governments Decrease Wage Inequality among Civil Servants? Empirical Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 8723, CESifo.
    6. Mona Förtsch & Felix Rösel, 2020. "Hotspots überall: Corona wandert in die Fläche," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 27(05), pages 07-09, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Publicly provided goods; spatial inequalities; political business cycles; partisan politics; government ideology; health care; hospitals;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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