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

  • Santosh Kumar

    (University of Washington)

  • Nishith Prakash

    (University of Connecticut)

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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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2012-18.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2012-18
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Chin, Aimee & Prakash, Nishith, 2009. "The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 4391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. 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 212-44, January.
  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. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2013. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," Economics Discussion Papers 739, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  6. 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, 09.
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