Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Studies


Matthias Leu

Committee Members

David P. Aday

Carlisle Moody


I examine the allocation and impact of foreign health aid at the sub-national level in Malawi. The literature remains divided over the impacts of health aid— some scholars fail to find significant relations between health aid and health outcomes, while others praise notable impacts. Moreover, the approaches scholars use to examine impacts are as polarized as their results— aid impacts are primarily examined using cross-national analyses or at the project level. However, the emergence of geocoded aid data allows for a new analytical approach, one of examining aggregate health aid within a country. I use an AIC-based hierarchical model averaging approach to determine the best predictor variables of health aid in four time periods, examining how health aid is allocated according to socio-economic factors, health conditions, and ethnic preferencing. In addition, I use propensity score matching methods to examine the causal impacts of health aid. Results show that aid is generally not allocated to the poorest individuals, but results are mixed over allocation according to health conditions. In addition, only one year, 2010, shows evidence of possible ethnic preferencing influencing aid allocation. Despite mixed results of allocation, propensity score matching methods show health aid causing statistically significant improvements in health conditions in 2008, 2009, and 2010, causing a reduction of 0.3 to 5 million cases of illness annually. Results highlight notable aggregate health aid impacts, despite potential inefficiencies or negative consequences of aid.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

On-Campus Access Only