Title

Can Elected Minority Representatives Affect Health Worker Visits? Evidence from India

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2017

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between elected minority representatives, i.e. Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) and health worker visits in rural India. We estimate the effect of minority representation on the frequency of visits to villages by health workers by exploiting the state variation in the share of seats reserved for the two minority groups in state legislative assemblies mandated by the Constitution of India. Using data from state and village level surveys on 15 major Indian states, we find that ST representatives increase the frequency of visits by both doctors and mobile medical units. In contrast, SC representatives have a tendency to decrease the frequency of visits by mobile medical units. Potential explanations for the differential impact of SC and ST representatives are also explored, including geographic isolation, support for the Congress Party, a shift in power, and relative population shares.

Publication Name

Review of Development Economics

Volume Number

21

First Page

67

Last Page

102

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1111/rode.12255

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