Graduate Program


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Fall 2019

Thesis Director

Mukti P. Upadhyay

Thesis Committee Member

Ali R. Moshtagh

Thesis Committee Member

Linda S. Ghent


This study has examined the impact of health expenditure on health outcomes in the selected West African countries. The health outcomes used in this study are infant mortality, under-five mortality, and maternal mortality rates. A panel data set for 14 countries for the period 2000‒2018 was used. Aside from examining the role of total health expenditure on the health outcomes, we examine whether public and private healthcare expenditure could have dissimilar health outcomes. This research used panel data estimation method. Panel data has some advantages over the cross sectional analysis and time series analysis in the sense that it controls for the effect of omitted variables, takes into consideration the international differences and provides more accurate inference of model parameters via more degrees of freedom and more sample variability. A one percentage point increase in health expenditure will reduce infant mortality by 2.4 percent, under-five mortality by 3.9 percent and maternal mortality by 4.9 percent. These are economically significant effects too and indicate decent contribution of health resources toward building human capital in these economics. Human capital expansion presumably affects economic growth positively in the developing countries of West Africa, making it worthwhile to increase health expenditure in the region.