David K. Guilkey

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Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Economics

david_guilkey@unc.edu

CPC Office: 123 W Franklin St, Room 2143

Campus Office: Gardner Hall, Room 208C
Campus Phone Number: (919) 966-5335

Dr. Guilkey's Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Guilkey's Personal Home Page

Dr. Guilkey's publications in PubMed

Dr. Guilkey's CPC publications

David K. Guilkey is an applied econometrician with a microeconomics focus. Much of his work has used large survey data sets, both cross sectional and longitudinal, that involve limited dependent variables and the presence of endogenous right-hand-side variables. His international work in health and family planning has concentrated on issues such as the determinants of contraceptive method choice and fertility, the determinants and consequences of health care usage, and the determinants of breast-feeding by mothers. Some of his early international work involved the use of the Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey that he helped initiate along with John S. Akin and Barry M. Popkin. Recent US work has used the Add Health data to estimate a dynamic model for health and human capital formation and the Cardia data to estimate a longitudinal model for BMI with endogenous regressors such as physical activity and fast food consumption.

Much of his current work has focused on the evaluation of the impact of public programs on contraceptive use and fertility in both developed and developing countries. Some of his work addresses methodological problems for correctly estimating program impact when faced with two potential complications: relying on respondent recall of program exposure variables and problems related to program targeting. Relying on a respondent’s recall of a family planning message, for example, may cause bias since more highly motivated individuals may be both more likely to recall hearing a message and act on the message. The other widespread problem that occurs in the evaluation of program impact is that programs are frequently targeted to certain populations. For example, family planning programs have sometimes been implemented first in areas of a country where the program implementers feel that the population is receptive to family planning. In other cases, programs may be targeted to underserved areas. In either case, methods that do not control for program placement can lead to biased measures of program impact. Guilkey has contributed to both the theoretical and empirical literatures on both of these topics. An example of this type of work is his research on the impact of Indonesia’s family planning program on fertility. This paper takes into account two complicating factors. First, the introduction of Indonesia’s family planning program was targeted, which means that methods that control for endogenous program placement must be used. Second, the paper treats the woman’s level of education as endogenous as well and allows family planning effects to operate through their effect on female education. A semi-parametric maximum likelihood estimation method was used to estimate equations for the timing of marriage, husband’s and wife’s completed years of education, and fertility. The results showed that standard methods understate program impact while overstating the impact of female education on fertility. These types of endogeneity corrections will be important in the proposed research.

Along with co-investigator and CPC Fellow Ilene Speizer, Guilkey recently completed a ten year, $28m Gates Foundation funded project that evaluated family planning programs in select urban areas of four countries: India, Nigeria, Kenya, and Senegal. As part of the evaluation effort, large longitudinal data sets were gathered in all four countries. Currently, Guilkey is a co-investigator in a $1.8m grant from the Gates Foundation to examine the sustainability of Gates’ family planning programs in Nigeria, and co-investigator on a $4m grant from the Gates Foundation to evaluate programs designed to increase access to contraceptive methods to adolescents in Africa.

Primary Research Areas:

  • Demography

  • Population Health

  • Reproductive Health

Current Research Projects:

Information updated on 4/10/2019

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