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Democratization and Child Mortality
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Millennium Development Goals call for a two-third reduction in the under-five mortality rate.  Can democratic reforms contribute to this goal? This paper studies the dynamic effects of important political changes on the relative change in child mortality. The key finding is that child mortality decreases significantly in the 5 to 25 years following a democratic transition. After this decrease, child mortality stabilizes at a new, lower level. This effect is neither caused by economic growth, nor is it restricted to poor countries. However when disaggregating democratic transitions into different subcomponents, the finding is that the single most important factor explaining the decrease in child mortality is the competitiveness of executive recruitment. The effects of an autocratic experience mirror those of a democratic transition; child mortality increases for a number of years following an autocratic transition. These results are less general and robust, however.

Keyword [en]
Human Development, Democratization, Child Mortality
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26958OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-26958DiVA: diva2:212119
Available from: 2009-04-21 Created: 2009-04-21 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Essays on technology adoption and political reform in developing countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Essays on technology adoption and political reform in developing countries
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The adoption of new technology plays a vital role in a developing country’s path to economic growth and better living conditions. The first chapter in this dissertation analyzes some of the determinants of the differences between countries in adoption levels of Internet and Communication Technologies (the “digital divide”). Since ICTs are considered to be important for economic growth as well as for participation in the global communication society this “digital divide” between rich and poor countries has generated a large amount of interest.

 The result of technology adoption is not only a greater potential for increased standards of living. The environmental side effects have commanded an increasing share of attention. The third chapter focuses on the climate effects from the combination of economic growth in India and the recent technological development in the budget-sector in the automobile industry. The world has never before seen such large consumer segments as those expected to be created by the recent economic growth in the developing world. In India alone the middle class (those that almost can afford a car at today’s prices) is expected to grow from 10 million to 95 million households in the next 20 years. The expectations of the future demand from these new consumer groups have incited automobile manufacturers to start developing extremely cheap cars targeted towards this market. How will this combination of economic growth and “frugal engineering” affect greenhouse gas emissions?

 Not only improvement in the economic conditions of developing countries is important. Maybe even more decisive are the rules of the game that decides how the countries’ riches are distributed. Parts of those rules are made up of the political system in a country. The second chapter focuses on some of the dynamic effects for the poor from changes in those political rules. Income distribution is difficult to measure so instead I use a different indicator: mortality rate of children. High levels of child mortality are to a large extent a problem of the poor and the rate of child mortality in a country gives an indication of the situation for the country’s most vulnerable citizens. Do democratic transitions in a country relate to the level of child mortality and if it does how long does it take before the effect is seen?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, 2009. 110 p.
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26967 (URN)978-91-7155-876-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-28, hörsal 11, hus F, Universitetsvägen 10 , Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-07 Created: 2009-04-21 Last updated: 2009-04-21Bibliographically approved

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