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The Political Competition over Life and Death - Evidence from Infant Mortality in India

Anders Kjelsrud (), Kalle Moene () and Lore Vandewalle ()
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Anders Kjelsrud: University of Oslo, Norway,
Kalle Moene: University of Oslo, Norway,

No 10-2020, IHEID Working Papers from Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies

Abstract: We argue that economic inequality harms social provisions for the poor, but that higher political competition can mitigate this effect. We test this hypothesis using a large redistricting of electoral boundaries in India and find that higher inequality causes more post-neonatal infant deaths, but only when there is weak political competition. We further show that government health centers located in constituencies with low political competition and high inequality are disfavored, indicating that the e ect on mortality operates via changes in public provision. Finally, we show that the same mechanisms are at play in the implementation of the MGNREGA employment program.

Keywords: Health; infant mortality; income inequality; political competition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O15 D72 P46 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 60 pages
Date: 2020-04-24
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-dev, nep-gen and nep-pol
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