Santosh Kumar – Keough School


Development Economics; global health economy; economics of early childhood development; human capital, India

At Keough School

Santosh Kumar is an associate professor of development economics and global health at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. It is also affiliated with Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health.


Research and publications

Santosh Kumar is an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on global health economics and economic development in low- and middle-income countries. Her research examines the causal association between child and maternal health, human capital and poverty.

Kumar is currently working on research projects related to the effects of prenatal conditions on birth outcomes and human capital accumulation; the effects of birth endowment, postnatal investments and micronutrient deficiencies on human capital, and the effects of access to physical infrastructure (roads, electricity, sanitation) and microfinance on human well-being. Kumar’s work uses experimental and quasi-experimental research methods and has extensive experience in survey data collection in India, Bhutan and Albania. His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Recent work


Kumar earned a BA (Honours) in Economics from the University of Delhi, a Masters in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Houston. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health and he also worked at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. Before coming to Notre Dame, Kumar was an associate professor of economics at Sam Houston State University in Texas.

Professional roles/positions

  • Research Fellow, Institute for Labor Studies, Germany
  • Academic Writer, PLOS ONE
  • Academic Writer, PLOS Global Public Health
  • Assistant Editor, Oxford Open Economy

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