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Political Factors and Health Outcomes: Insight from Argentina's Provinces

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  • James W. McGuire

    () (Department of Government at Wesleyan University)

Abstract

This paper explores whether political factors were associated with health outcomes across Argentina's 23 provinces and Federal Capital from 1983 to 2005, controlling for national trends, per capita economic output, and other provincial specificities. The introduction of a gender quota for the lower house of the provincial legislature is found to have a statistically significant and substantively strong association with lower infant mortality. Most other political factors are found to be unassociated with the health share of provincial spending, attendance at birth by trained personnel, or infant survival. This lack of association stands in contrast to the findings of the cross-national literature, in which political factors are often found to be associated with health care spending, health service utilization, and health status. Differences in level of analysis (national vs. subnational) and in statistical technique help to explain these contrasting findings. Still, the analysis suggests that relations between political factors and health outcomes may be weaker than is sometimes suggested. As Amartya Sen has noted, democratic freedoms (and other political factors) create opportunities to improve other dimensions of human development. Whether these opportunities are seized depends on the actions of citizens and governments.

Suggested Citation

  • James W. McGuire, 2010. "Political Factors and Health Outcomes: Insight from Argentina's Provinces," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-25, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2010-25
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    File URL: http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2010/papers/HDRP_2010_25.pdf
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    1. repec:gig:joupla:v:6:y:2014:i:1:p:3-44 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human development; democracy; mortality; health care; gender; subnational; Argentina.;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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