Democratization’s Heterogeneous Effects on Child Mortality: A Longitudinal Analysis of New Data for 181 Countries, 1970–2009

Antonio Pedro Ramos , University of California, Los Angeles
Martin Flores, University of California, Los Angeles

Current empirical literature on the effects of democracy on child mortality remains inconclusive; some studies show strong beneficial effects while others do not. We revisit this debate using a new statistical approach that explicitly distinguishes several types of effects that were combined in previous studies and a new complete data set. We find that while the average effect of democratization is negligible, there is a substantial amount of between-country variation in its effects. In some Sub-Saharan African coun- tries democracy has long-term beneficial effects on child mortality, while in many Latin American countries the effect of democracy is neutral or even deleterious. Moreover, in some former communist countries the introduction of democracy leads to short term deleterious effects followed by beneficial long term effects.

See paper

 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2