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Health and the Political Agency of Women

Listed author(s):
  • Bhalotra, Sonia R.

    ()

    (University of Essex)

  • Clots-Figueras, Irma

    ()

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

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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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6216.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6216
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  1. Sonia Bhalotra & Arthur van Soest, 2005. "Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India: Dynamics, Frailty, and Fecundity," Working Papers 219, RAND Corporation.
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  6. Bhalotra, Sonia & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," Economics Discussion Papers 9008, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  7. Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1497-1540.
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  14. 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.
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  22. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-035, Harvard Business School, revised Jan 2016.
  23. 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.
  24. Ebonya L. Washington, 2008. "Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 311-332, March.
  25. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  36. 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.
  37. Grant Miller, 2008. "Women's Suffrage, Political Responsiveness, and Child Survival in American History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1287-1327.
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