Policy-Making, Trust and the Demand for Public Services: Evidence from a Mass Sterilization Campaign

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


We study a large-scale family planning intervention in which more than 260,000 Peruvian women were sterilized. Many of these medical procedures are alleged to have been performed without patient consent. The subsequent disclosure of alleged illegal sterilizations caused reductions in the usage of contraceptive methods, prenatal and birth delivery services, and—more generally—the demand for medical services in affected areas. As a result, child health worsened. The results persist for at least 17 years after the information disclosure and are driven by disappointed supporters of the implementing government. Learning about the government’s malpractices undermined trust in institutions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 502024 Public economy
  • 502046 Economic policy


  • Public policy
  • Reproductive Health

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