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Regular version of the site

Working paper

Democracy and Quality of Governance: What Matters More for Health?

This study explores association between political regime, good governance and country social  performance measured as Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). It is widely argued that democratic leaders  possess more incentives to provide public goods, say, in order to meet median voter’s demands, than  their authoritarian counterparts, which, inter alia, leads to superior health related capabilities in democracies. Maintaining an assumption that in the modern world public health delivery process may  be of greater importance for certain health outcomes than macroeconomic and political factors, say,  economic growth, and capitalizing on the observation that an increasing number of nondemocratic  regimes perform well on governance and health indicators, whereas many democracies, especially  nascent, fare poorly, I argue that it is good governance that matters more for state performance in the  healthcare sector than democracy vs. autocracy dichotomy. Utilizing both cross-section and TSCS  data analysis, I show that good governance exerts systematic influence upon IMR, whereas political  regime characteristics lose their statistical significance once controlled for governance.