Gustavo Angeles, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Maternal and Child Health
Gustavo Angeles is a health economist with interest in the impact of development programs on household’s demographic, health, and economic outcomes. His work focuses on applied evaluations of ongoing programs in developing countries as well as on methodological and measurement problems for estimating program impacts in a valid way. He is currently examining the impact of cash transfer programs on poverty, human capital, and productive outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa, and the impact of health programs in Bangladesh.
Angeles' research estimates the impact of social development programs on individual-level demographic, health and economic outcomes. With researchers from Mexico's National Institute of Public Health (INSP), he has examined the impact of the conditional cash transfer Oportunidades program (formerly PROGRESA) on reproductive health and demographic outcomes. A publication in Economic Development and Cultural Change, for example, used experimental data and a variety of estimation techniques to show that Oportunidades had only a small average effect on skilled attendance at delivery in rural communities of Mexico. Response, however, was heterogeneous. For instance, the average program impact underestimated the large impact on women of extreme poverty. In other work associated with MEASURE Evaluation and in collaboration with ICDDR,B and the Government of Bangladesh, he conducted an innovative census and mapping of slums in the six main cities of Bangladesh in preparation for a health survey in the main cities of the country. Slums are very heterogeneous: while 39% of slum residents are in the lowest SES quintile, 13% fall in the two highest SES quintiles. Angeles is also working on measurement issues. Regarding the measurement of SES, he finds that the standard procedure of applying principal components to a set of "assets" (durable goods and housing characteristics), widely used by the Demographic and Health Surveys and the World Bank, can lead to biases and incorrect classifications as it does not consider the ordinal nature of the variables used for the analysis. Angeles has also worked on estimation techniques to control for bias created by endogeneous targeting of program services across communities and by endogeneous schooling on the estimates of program impact. He applied those techniques to estimate FP, health and education program impacts in Indonesia, Tanzania and Peru.
Angeles will continue his work on program impact evaluation and estimation methodologies. He will continue, with Handa, the ongoing evaluation of cash transfers programs in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Ghana, as well as impact evaluations of integrated agricultural and nutrition programs in Guatemala and Malawi. He is starting an impact evaluation of a household economic empowerment and resilience program in Rwanda. Angeles will continue his research on the implications of measurement error on the estimation of program impact effects which is conducted in collaboration with INSP researchers. He will also continue his collaboration with a network of schools of Public Health/Universities in African, Asian and Latin America to build impact evaluation capacity and conduct collaborative research.