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Maternal Mortality and Women’s Political Power

Sonia Bhalotra, Damian Clarke (), Joseph F. Gomes () and Atheendar Venkataramani
Additional contact information
Sonia Bhalotra: University of Warwick
Joseph F. Gomes: UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)
Atheendar Venkataramani: University of Pennsylvania

No 2021010, LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES from Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)

Abstract: Millions of women continue to die during and soon after childbirth, even where the knowledge and resources to avoid this are available. We posit that raising the share of women in parliament can trigger action. Leveraging the timing of gender quota legislation across developing countries, we identify sharp sustained reductions of 8–10 percent in maternal mortality. Investigating mechanisms, we find that gender quotas lead to increases in percentage points of 5–8 in skilled birth attendance and 4–8 in prenatal care utilization, alongside a decline in fertility of 6–7 percent and an increase in the schooling of young women of about 0.5 years. The results are robust to numerous robustness checks. They suggest a new policy tool for tackling maternal mortality

Keywords: Maternal mortality; Women’s Political representation; Gender; Quotas; Reproductive health services; Fertility; Schooling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 I15 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 119
Date: 2021-05-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem
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