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Title:The political economy of health: death, disease and distribution
Author(s):Meserve, Stephen A.
Director of Research:Bernhard, William T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bernhard, William T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Pahre, Robert D.; Hays, Jude C.; Gaines, Brian J.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Comparative Political Economy
Comparative Politics
Abstract:Death and disease exact a heavy toll on citizens in democracies. In response, citizens expect elected politicians to alleviate their suffering by providing public health funding to afflicted areas. I argue that the funding of health policy in democracies is subject to distributional incentives similar to other government policies. Patterns of government control, partisanship, strategic importance and quality of legislative representation condition the provision of public health funding within countries. In turn, public health spending conditions district mortality outcomes. I examine evidence from turn of the century France, United States and modern India to test this theory. First, I consider qualitative evidence of the distribution of health funds. I then assemble administrative district level electoral, budgetary and health information and predict levels of health funding and resulting mortality rates. Political importance, not just need, plays a prominent role in determining who lives and dies in democracies. This has profound implications for the plight of modern democracies facing disease threats.
Issue Date:2011-08-25
Rights Information:c 2011 by Stephen August Meserve. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-25
Date Deposited:2011-08

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