Citizenship Policy and the Spread of Communicable Diseases: Evidence from the Dominican Republic


José Flor-Toro

Eduardo Campillo-Betancourt

Draft coming soon

Brief abstract: We study two controversial policies in the Dominican Republic in 2013 and 2015 that targeted as much as 10% of the country’s population based on their foreign ancestry and limited their safe access to services such as health. Beyond the direct negative effects such policies may have on the targeted group, we argue that there may be important indirect effects from such policies through the contagion of communicable diseases. We exploit the timing and differential exposure to these policies across the country, as well as highly disaggregated epidemiological data on diseases to provide evidence of these indirect effects. Our estimates provide evidence of a notable increase in the caseload of Dengue, a highly contagious disease. Contrarily, there are no effects either for communicable diseases that are less contagious, or for non-communicable diseases. We argue that these results are due to a restriction in access to health services.

Slides are available when requested.