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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Public Service Provision, User Fees and Political Turmoil
Authors:Fafchamps, MarcelISNI
Minten, BartISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Economies
Geographic term:Madagascar
Subjects:education fees
price policy
educational financing
health financing
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
Health and Nutrition
External link:https://jae.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/3/485.full.pdf
Abstract:In the first half of 2002, Madagascar experienced a major political crisis, which was the outcome of a dispute over the results of a presidential election held in December 2001. Following his electoral defeat, the incumbent president blockaded the central highlands of the country for several months. The blockade, which lasted from January to June 2002, affected the delivery of public services in several ways. This paper examines the short-run effect of this blockade on health and education services in Madagascar's rural areas. It shows that enrolment in rural primary schools was surprisingly resilient to the crisis. In contrast, the blockade led to a large drop in health care services, measured by the number of patient visits to health care centres. Part of this effect can be explained by an increase in poverty. The aftermath of the crisis also introduced changes in public service delivery. As a palliative to the increase in poverty generated by the blockade, the new president ordered in August and September 2002 a temporary elimination of school and health care fees. The paper shows that the suspension of user fees had a significant positive effect on both school enrolment and visits to health centres. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]