Santosh Kumar

Associate Professor of Development and Global Health Economics

Santosh Kumar

4139 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

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Santosh Kumar

Associate Professor of Development and Global Health Economics


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

At the Keough School

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


Research and Publications

Santosh Kumar is an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on the economics of global health and economic development in low- and middle-income countries. His 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; effects of birth endowment, postnatal investments, and micronutrient deficiencies on human capital, and the effects of access to physical infrastructures (road, electricity, sanitation) and microfinance on human well-being. Kumar’s work uses experimental and quasi-experimental research methods and has extensive experience collecting survey data in India, Bhutan, and Albania. His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, and he is an associate editor of Economic Modelling.

Recent Work


Kumar earned a BA (honors) in economics from the University of Delhi, a master’s degree in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and a PhD in economics from the University of Houston. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and he also has worked at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to 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 the Study of Labor, Germany
  • Academic editor, PLOS ONE
  • Academic editor, PLOS Global Public Health
  • Assistant editor, Oxford Open Economics