Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Gabriel Picone, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Murat Munkin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Getachew Dagne, Ph.D.


Child Mortality, Debt Relief, Nutrition, NAADS, C-Section, Africa


This dissertation examines three health and development issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. It analyzes the impact of policy changes and interventions on child mortality, household food consumption and cesarean section births. The study is motivated by the Millennium Development Goals and policies which could affect their achievement. In the first essay, I investigate the impact of debt relief on under-five mortality rate. A dynamic panel data estimator is employed in the analysis. The result shows that debt relief is associated with a statistically significant reduction in under-five mortality rate. I conclude that conditionality of debt relief or development aid can yield positive outcomes. The second essay examines the impact of private hospitals on the likelihood of cesarean section births in Uganda. The study is motivated by the increase in cesarean section births following the proliferation of private hospitals. The main method of estimation is a bivariate probit model. The results show that delivery at private hospitals increases the probability of cesarean section births, thus there is need to monitor private hospitals so that expectant mothers are protected from physician induced demand for avoidable cesarean section births. The final essay studies the impact of agricultural extension services on household food consumption in Uganda. The study exploits the variation in participation in the NAADS to estimate the impact of the program on household food consumption. I find that NAADS membership and training are associated with an increase in household food consumption, hence agricultural extension services can be used to reduce food insecurity. Policy recommendations and future studies are explored.

Included in

Economics Commons