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Party System Nationalization and the Provision of Public Health Services*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 August 2015

Abstract

In this paper, we examine consequences of party system nationalization. We argue that the degree to which party systems are nationalized should affect the provision of public benefits by governments. When political competition at the national level occurs between parties that represent specific sub-national constituencies, then the outcomes of policy debates and conflicts can lead to an undersupply of nationally focused public services. We test our argument using data on DPT and measles immunization rates for 58 countries. We find that low party system nationalization is a barrier to improvements in these health indicators. Specifically, a substantial presence of regionalized parties hinders states’ convergence toward international heath standards.

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Original Articles
Copyright
© The European Political Science Association 2015 

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Footnotes

*

Allen Hicken, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, 505 S. State St. 5700 Haven Hall Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1045 (ahicken@umich.edu) and Ken Kollman, Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, University of Michigan, 4248 Institute for Social Research 426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 - 1248 (kkollman@umich.edu), Department of Political Science and Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Joel W. Simmons, Assistant Professor, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, 3140 Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742 (jwsimmon@umd.edu). The authors thank many research assistants on the project, including Sang Jung Han, Patrick O’Mahen, Sana Jaffrey, and Su-Hyun Lee. Moreover, participants in talks at the following venues provided valuable feedback on earlier versions: American Political Science Association annual meetings in 2008, the Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan, and in the Political Science Department at State University of New York at Stony Brook. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1021915). To view supplementary material for this article, please visit http://www.globalelectionsdatabase.com/

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