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Political Decentralization, Women's Reservation and Child Health Outcomes: A Case Study of Rural Bihar

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  • Santosh Kumar

    (University of Washington)

  • Nishith Prakash

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the impact of political decentralization and gender quota in local governance on different measures of health outcomes and behaviors. We use multiple waves of District Level Household Survey (DLHS) for two states in India, Bihar and Jharkhand, and employ differences-in-differences (DID) methodology to estimate the impacts. We find that political decentralization is positively associated with higher probabilities of institutional births, safe delivery, and births in public health facilities. We also find increased survival rate of children belonging to richer households. We argue that our results are consistent with local leaders having better information or greater concern for women and child health as argued in the literature (Bhalotra and Figuera, 2012). JEL Classification: I38, J15, J78 Key words: Affirmative Action, Woman, Ante-Natal Care, Institutional Delivery, Child Mortality, India

Suggested Citation

  • Santosh Kumar & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Political Decentralization, Women's Reservation and Child Health Outcomes: A Case Study of Rural Bihar," Working papers 2012-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2012-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2012. "Are Female Leaders Good for Education? Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 212-244, January.
    2. Chin, Aimee & Prakash, Nishith, 2011. "The redistributive effects of political reservation for minorities: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 265-277.
    3. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2014. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, pages 164-197.
    4. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2008. "Why are people more pro-trade than pro-migration?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, pages 160-163.
    5. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1409-1443.
    6. Chin, Aimee & Prakash, Nishith, 2011. "The redistributive effects of political reservation for minorities: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 265-277.
    7. 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.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joan Costa-Font & Divya Parmar, 2016. "Political agency and public healthcare: Evidence from India," WIDER Working Paper Series 135, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Duncan M. Wagana & Mike A. Iravo & Joyce D. Nzulwa & John M. Kihoro, 2016. "Effect of Financial and Political Decentralization on Service Delivery in County Governments in Kenya," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(6), pages 304-320, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)

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