Democratization’s Heterogeneous Effects on Child Mortality: A Longitudinal Analysis of New Data, for 181 countries, 1970-2009
55 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2014 Last revised: 10 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 8, 2017
Current empirical literature on the effects of democracy on child mortality remains inconclusive; some studies show strong beneficial effects while others do not. We revisit this debate using a new statistical approach that explicitly distinguishes several types of effects that were combined in previous studies and a new complete data set. We find that while the average effect of democratization is negligible, there is a substantial amount of between-country variation in its effects. In some Sub-Saharan African countries democracy has long-term beneficial effects on child mortality, while in many Latin American countries the effect of democracy is neutral or even deleterious. Moreover, in some former communist countries the introduction of democracy leads to short term deleterious effects followed by beneficial long term effects.
Keywords: Comparative Politics: Developing Countries; Health Politics; Bayesian Hierarchical Models;
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