The Urban-Rural Gap in Health Care Infrastructure - Does Government Ideology Matter?

36 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2019

See all articles by Niklas Potrafke

Niklas Potrafke

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Felix Roesel

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Spatial inequalities in publicly provided goods such as health care facilities have substantial socio-economic effects. Little is known, however, as to why publicly provided goods diverge among urban and rural regions. We exploit narrow parliamentary majorities in German states between 1950 and 2014 in an RD framework to show that government ideology influences the urban-rural gap in public infrastructure. Leftwing governments relocate hospital beds from rural regions. We propose that leftwing governments do so to gratify their more urban constituencies. In turn, spatial inequalities in hospital infrastructure increase, which seems to influence general and infant mortality.

Keywords: publicly provided goods, spatial inequalities, political business cycles, partisan politics, government ideology, health care, hospitals

JEL Classification: D720, H420, I180

Suggested Citation

Potrafke, Niklas and Roesel, Felix, The Urban-Rural Gap in Health Care Infrastructure - Does Government Ideology Matter? (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7647. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3422228

Niklas Potrafke (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Felix Roesel

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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