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Effect of Political Decentralization and Female Leadership on Institutional Births and Child Mortality in Rural Bihar, India

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  • Santosh Kumar

    () (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University)

  • Nishith Prakash

    () (Department of Economics and Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the impacts of political decentralization and women reservation in local governance on institutional births and child mortality in the state of Bihar, India. Using the difference-in-differences methodology, we find a significant positive association between political decentralization and institutional births. We also find that the increased participation of women at local governance led to an increased survival rate of children belonging to richer households. We argue that our results are consistent with female leaders having policy preference for women and child well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Santosh Kumar & Nishith Prakash, 2017. "Effect of Political Decentralization and Female Leadership on Institutional Births and Child Mortality in Rural Bihar, India," Working Papers 1703, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:1703
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Karthik Muralidharan & Nishith Prakash, 2017. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 321-350, July.
    2. Powell-Jackson, Timothy & Mazumdar, Sumit & Mills, Anne, 2015. "Financial incentives in health: New evidence from India's Janani Suraksha Yojana," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 154-169.
    3. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    4. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Lupin Rahman & Vijayendra Rao, 2004. "The Politics of Public Good Provision: Evidence from Indian Local Governments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 416-426, 04/05.
    5. Mookherjee, Dilip & Bardhan, Pranab K., 2012. "Political Clientelism and Capture: Theory and Evidence from West Bengal, India," WIDER Working Paper Series 097, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. repec:taf:apeclt:v:23:y:2016:i:18:p:1325-1328 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2014. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 164-197, May.
    8. Bardhan Pranab K. & Mookherjee Dilip & Parra Torrado Monica, 2010. "Impact of Political Reservations in West Bengal Local Governments on Anti-Poverty Targeting," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, January.
    9. Santosh Kumar, 2016. "The effect of birth order on schooling in India," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(18), pages 1325-1328, December.
    10. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, September.
    11. Quamruzzaman, Amm & Lange, Matthew, 2016. "Female political representation and child health: Evidence from a multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 48-57.
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    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:108:y:2018:i:c:p:221-230 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender Quota; Political Decentralization; Institutional Delivery; Child Mortality; Bihar; India;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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