DP14339 Maternal Mortality and Women's Political Participation

Author(s): Sonia Bhalotra, Damian Clarke, Joseph Flavian Gomes, Atheendar Venkataramani
Publication Date: January 2020
Keyword(s): Gender, Maternal mortality, Quotas, reproductive health services, women's political representation
JEL(s): I14, I15, O15
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14339

We show that large declines in maternal mortality can be achieved by raising women's political participation. We estimate that the recent wave of quotas for women in parliament in low income countries has resulted in a 9 to 12% decline in maternal mortality. Among mechanisms are that gender quotas lead to an 8 to 10% increase in skilled birth attendance, a 6 to 12% increase in prenatal care utilization and a 4 to 11% decrease in birth rates.