Pathways to Preventive Health, Evidence from India's Rural Road Program

47 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2015

See all articles by Rakesh Banerjee

Rakesh Banerjee

Rice University

Ashish Sachdeva

University of Southern California

Date Written: July 2015


This paper estimates the impact of a massive nationwide road construction program on the usage, provision, and awareness of preventive health care. Under this program, the government mandates to connect all villages with a population of at least 500 within the reach of the nearest link road via an all-weather road. Using the population of the village, we match the household survey data (DLHS-3) with the program placement data at the village (treatment) level We use a Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity (FRD) technique to overcome the problem of endogenous program placement. Our results suggest that the provision of roads increases the use of preventive health care by women and households. We further explore some of the potential mechanisms that may lead to this increase in the health care usage. We show that there is an: a) increase in the awareness about government run health care programs, b) improvement in health care supply, and c) increase in social interaction within and between villages. Our results provide important insights for increasing preventive health care use in developing countries.

Keywords: Roads, Preventive Health Care

JEL Classification: I15, O18, R42

Suggested Citation

Banerjee, Rakesh and Sachdeva, Ashish, Pathways to Preventive Health, Evidence from India's Rural Road Program (July 2015). USC-INET Research Paper No. 15-19, Available at SSRN: or

Rakesh Banerjee (Contact Author)

Rice University ( email )

6100 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

Ashish Sachdeva

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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