Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Gerald E. Shively

Committee Chair

Gerald E. Shively

Committee Member 1

Jacob E. Ricker-Gilbert

Committee Member 2

Otto C. Doering III


This thesis seeks to explain the relationship between a household's choice of fuel and the health and nutrition outcomes of children below the age of 5 in Uganda. The first objective is to examine the association between the choice of fuel and the incidence of acute respiratory infection (ARI). The second objective is to measure the relationship between choice of fuel, ARI and nutrition outcomes of children. ^ I use data from the 2006 and 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys (UDHS). The total number of observations is 4,463. Data indicate that 94% of rural households in the DHS sample use firewood and 6% use charcoal. In contrast, 22% of urban households use firewood and 76% use charcoal. Approximately 30% of children in the rural sample experience ARI symptoms compared with 20% of children in the urban sample. Both the composite index of anthropometric failure (CIAF) and the conventional Waterlow indicators are used to measure the prevalence of malnutrition. These indicators show a 35% prevalence of stunting, a 6% prevalence of wasting and a 15% prevalence of underweight in the pooled sample. Based on the CIAF, 40% of children in the pooled sample are malnourished. Results from multivariate regressions suggest that the use of firewood is positively correlated with the probability of both ARI, stunting and CIAF. However, from a statistical perspective, the results suggest that much of this effect can be explained by household factors such as wealth and urban residency. Living in an urban area is observed to be beneficial to health and nutrition outcomes. Wealth is an important factor in explaining patterns of malnutrition. Child's age is negatively correlated with the probability of ARI and positively correlated with the probability of malnutrition. There is a negative correlation between being a male child and the probability of malnutrition. A mother's education and age are negatively correlated with the health and nutrition outcome of the child. Household demographics such as size is positively correlated with health and malnutrition outcome.