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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Elsy Thomas Kizhakethalackal
Doctor of Philosophy
Title: Empirical Essays on the Impact of Health-aid on Health Outcomes
Dr. Debasri Mukherjee, Chair
Dr. Eskander Alvi
Dr. Ajay Gupta
Date: Monday, August 3, 2009 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
5302 Friedmann Hall
This dissertation consists of three essays that empirically explore the impact of multilateral health-aid on health outcomes like infant mortality rate (IMR) and incidences of an infectious disease, Tuberculosis, in developing economies. The first essay uses parametric and semi-parametric mean regressions (additive and non-additive specifications) to capture the impact of education and health-aid on the IMR, after controlling for other covariates. Both specifications confirm education as an important factor in reducing IMR. However, the effect of health-aid on IMR is not significant. Though, in our additive model, we do see a threshold level of health-aid after which the impacts of health-aid are always negative, as expected, from positive.
In the second essay, the study continues to focus on the same relationship. However, we use parametric and semi-parametric quantile regression approach. This approach helps capture the effect of health-aid on various groupings/quantiles of infant mortality rates. Our estimation procedures confirm that education and gross domestic product play significant roles in improving health standards across all quantiles of IMR. We do not find any robust evidence of health-aid significantly lowering IMR in any quantile of IMR. The third essay uses annual level data to explore the dynamic nature of the impact of health-aid on a specific infectious disease called Tuberculosis. The findings from both our dynamic panel specifications—differenced generalized method of moments (GMM) and systems GMM—confirm that, among the covariates considered, education does play a significant role in lowering the incidences of Tuberculosis. Unfortunately, the dynamic panel estimations reveal that health-aid not only has the wrong sign in some cases but is always ineffective in lowering the incidence of Tuberculosis.
Thus, the policy implications of our analyses are that health-aid does not work and, therefore, better monitoring of the aid disbursement and usage is required. Donors should also focus on improving basic education level which by itself can help health outcomes through increased awareness of nutrition, prevention of diseases and treatment.