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Health and the Political Agency of Women

  • 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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6216
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  1. Beaman, Lori & Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra & Duflo, Esther & Pande, Rohini & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2012. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality In Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence From Micro Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1294-1317, December.
  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. 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.
  6. Sonia Bhalotra & Sam Rawlings, 2010. "Intergenerational persistence in health in developing countries: the penalty of gender inequality," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/249, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Sonia Bhalotra & Arthur van Soest, 2007. "Birth Spacing, Fertility and Neonatal Mortality in India:Dynamics, Frailty and Fecundity," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/168, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. A Oswald & N Powdthavee, 2008. "Daughters and Left Wing Voting," Discussion Papers 08/18, Department of Economics, University of York.
  14. Bhalotra, S. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2005. "Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India : Dynamics, Frailty and Fecundity," Discussion Paper 2005-6, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. Keefer, Philip & Khemani, Stuti, 2003. "Democracy, public expenditures, and the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3164, The World Bank.
  16. 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.
  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. 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.
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