Political Agency and Public Health Care: Evidence from India

36 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2017

See all articles by Joan Costa-Font

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Divya Parmar

City University London - School of Health Sciences

Date Written: September 11, 2017

Abstract

A growing literature studies the effect of enhancing the agency relationship between political incumbents and constituents on the use of health care, and specifically maternal and preventive care services. We examine the development of institutions of self-governance in India, and specifically the 2005 reform—the National Rural Health Mission that introduced village health and sanitation committees—to study the effects of the strengthening of the political agency on collective health care decision-making in rural areas. We examine maternal and preventative child health care use, before and after the introduction of village health and sanitation committees. Our results suggest that the introduction of village health and sanitation committees increases access to several maternal health care and some but not all immunisation services. The effect size is larger in larger villages and those closer to district headquarters. Part of the effect is driven by an increase in the utilization of the public healthcare network.

Keywords: Decentralization, Direct Democracy, India, Immunization, Maternal Healthcare, Public Health Care, Preventative Health Care

JEL Classification: H700, I180

Suggested Citation

Costa-Font, Joan and Parmar, Divya, Political Agency and Public Health Care: Evidence from India (September 11, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6640. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3040488

Joan Costa-Font (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://joancostaifont.org/

Divya Parmar

City University London - School of Health Sciences ( email )

Northampton Square
London, EC1V OHB
United Kingdom

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