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The impact of democracy and media freedom on under-5 mortality, 1961–2011

Simon Wigley and Arzu Akkoyunlu-Wigley

Social Science & Medicine, 2017, vol. 190, issue C, 237-246

Abstract: Do democracies produce better health outcomes for children than autocracies? We argue that (1) democratic governments have an incentive to reduce child mortality among low-income families and (2) that media freedom enhances their ability to deliver mortality-reducing resources to the poorest. A panel of 167 countries for the years 1961–2011 is used to test those two theoretical claims. We find that level of democracy is negatively associated with under-5 mortality, and that that negative association is greater in the presence of media freedom. These results are robust to the inclusion of country and year fixed effects, time-varying control variables, and the multiple imputation of missing values.

Keywords: Democracy; Media freedom; Under-5 mortality; Panel data analysis; Country fixed effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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