DP17361 Policy-Making, Trust and the Demand for Public Services: Evidence from a Mass Sterilizations Campaign
We study a large-scale family planning intervention in which more than 260,000 Peruvian women were sterilized. Many of these medical procedures are alleged to have been performed without patient consent. The subsequent disclosure of alleged illegal sterilizations caused reductions in the usage of contraceptive methods, prenatal and birth delivery services, and –more generally– the demand for medical services in affected areas. As a result, child health worsened. The results persist for at least 17 years after the information disclosure and are driven by disappointed supporters of the implementing government. Learning about the government’s malpractices undermined trust in institutions.