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lecture10_2_09_11_large - LECTURE 10: Political Incentives...

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Unformatted text preview: LECTURE 10: Political Incentives and Population Health •What population health incentives do politicians face? •A key theme for today concerns politician incentives in democracy (vs. non-democratic forms of government) •There are thorny issues of defining democracy, we won’t resolve these (but keep them in mind) •Also, the research literature on this topic is thin, but it is very important •Debates among donors about the usefulness of increasing funding when it is commonly stolen or appropriated for other uses (weak political “accountability”); MCC example •Recall health sector corruption slide from the last lecture (Lecture 9) •More generally, we are studying misaligned supply-side incentives for good population health in this section of the course •At the macro level: government incentives •Michael Ross, “Is Democracy Good for the Poor?” •Why did I assign this paper? My political scientist friends tell me it is the best one on the topic in the political science •Starting point of paper: many studies show that people living in democracies are healthier, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that democracies produce better health •But before getting into empirical relationships, why, conceptually, might democracy matter for population health? • I don’t particularly like the paper’s list of mechanisms for why democracy might matter, but it provides a starting point… •Ross paper observed that democracies spend more money on “public services” and tries to evaluate if better health accompanies this (higher marginal return to health spending among the poor?) •Key mechanism: •Political competition/median voter theorem framework (the so- called “Downsian” framework originally illustrated by Harold Hotelling’s 1929 “ice cream game”) (2 candidates, single- peaked preferences, single policy dimension, etc.) •With suffrage rights under democracy, the position of the median voter in the “electorate” shifts away from the elite, placing greater emphasis on the preferences of the poor •On political competition: Lee, Moretti, and Butler, “Do Voters...
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2011 for the course ECON 127 taught by Professor Staff during the Winter '11 term at Stanford.

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lecture10_2_09_11_large - LECTURE 10: Political Incentives...

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