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