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Democracy and Infant Mortality within India: From Whether to Why
European Political Science Review (2016)
  • Nisha Mukherjee Bellinger, Montana State University - Billings
How does democratic politics affect infant mortality? The bulk of existing research has debated whether democracies have lower levels of infant mortality than non-democracies. Yet, infant mortality varies as much within countries as it does between countries, suggesting that the political processes affecting infant mortality operate at the subnational level. To shed new light on the debate, this paper examines how three core democratic attributes affect infant mortality within a single democracy: India. I argue that higher levels of political representation, citizens’ participation, and electoral competition provide political incentives for elected representatives to reduce infant mortality. The theory is tested on a times-series data set from 15 major Indian states between 1980 and 2011. Overall, the results demonstrate the significance of democratic politics, particularly political representation, in influencing infant mortality.
  • India,
  • democracy,
  • human welfare,
  • infant mortality
Publication Date
June 13, 2016
Publisher Statement
Date provided is the online early release publication date.
Citation Information
Nisha Mukherjee Bellinger. "Democracy and Infant Mortality within India: From Whether to Why" European Political Science Review (2016)
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