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James W. McGuire: Politics, Gender, and Health: Insight from Argentina's Provinces

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Date:  Monday, March 7, 2016

Presenter:  Dr. James W. McGuire is Professor and Chair in the Department of Government at Wesleyan University. He specializes in the comparative politics of developing countries, with a particular focus on democracy, social welfare policies, and public health. He is the author of Peronism without Perón: Unions, Parties, and Democracy in Argentina (Stanford University Press, 1997) and of Wealth, Health, and Democracy in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which won the 2011 Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. McGuire is a recipient of Wesleyan's Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Description:  In this presentation, Dr. James W. McGuire discusses the intersection of politics, gender, and health in Argentina's provinces. The association between women's legislative representation and health outcomes is of long-standing interest in comparative politics. In Argentina, provincial governments administer most health care delivery, schooling, water provision, sanitation, and other services that affect health care utilization and population health status. Accordingly, the Argentine provinces provide an interesting context within which to explore the empirical association between women's legislative representation and health outcomes. Across the 24 provinces of Argentina observed annually from 1984 to 2012, the percentage of provincial deputy seats held by women, or instruments for this percentage, are found to be associated, as expected, with a lower proportion of births outside medical facilities and with lower infant and maternal mortality, albeit (unexpectedly) also with a lower health care share of provincial spending. The obtained associations between women's legislative representation and health outcomes are remarkable in view of the length and complexity of the causal chain linking women's legislative representation to health status.

For reference, please see the event flyer.