Research Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, Stockholm University
Democratization and Child Mortality
Abstract: The Millennium Development Goals call for a two-thirds
reduction in under-five mortality rate. Can democratic reforms contribute
to this goal? The focus of previous studies has mainly been on verifying
the existence of a relationship between democracy and child mortality and
not on the dynamics of the relationship. This paper addresses this question
by empirically testing the dynamic effects of important changes in the
level of democracy on the percentage change in child mortality using a
distributed lag model. The findings are that during the 5 to 25 years
following a democratic transition child mortality decreases significantly.
Following this decrease, child mortality stabilizes at a new, lower level.
Disaggregating democratic transitions into different subcomponents the
finding is that the single most important aspect for child mortality is the
competitiveness of executive recruitment. The results on the effects of an
autocratic experience mirror those of a democratic transition, child
mortality increases for a number of years but the results are not as stable
as for positive democratic changes.
Keywords: Human Development; Democratization; Child Mortality; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: I10; O15; (follow links to similar papers)
41 pages, June 18, 2007, Revised November 11, 2007
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