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Cardona Cabrera

Assistant Scientist

Contact Info

Research Interests

health economics; economic demography; population dynamics; population and health; women’s empowerment; women’s health; sexual and reproductive health; family planning
Experiences & Accomplishments
Dr. Cardona is a health economist focused on understanding demographic processes and their effect on economic development. She is particularly interested in the influence of women’s sexual and reproductive health decisions on women’s roles in society and how they shape demographic transitions. To date, her work has investigated these areas in the context of developing countries from sub-Saharan Africa and in the U.S. context. Much of her research relies on data collected by the Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) project to study contraceptive behaviors and family planning preferences using two types of data: 1) clients of reproductive age seeking healthcare services, and 2) women of reproductive age surveyed at their household. She is also interested in understanding how government spending influences women’s sexual and reproductive health decisions and other population health outcomes. Her work in this area has relied on U.S. data. To date, she has looked at the influence of social spending of local governments on life expectancy at birth and COVID-19. She has also analyzed spending trends across different U.S. welfare programs.

Dr. Cardona has also devoted much research to understanding how demographic transitions in sub-Saharan Africa can spark economic growth. She has co-developed a tool to track the efforts placed by governments in setting a favorable policy environment that could allow countries to harness a demographic dividend. In this capacity, she is the technical coordinator of the Demographic Dividend Initiative at the Gates Institute at JHSPH.
Honors & Awards
2020–22 Fellowship in Reproductive Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health.
2020–21 Fellowship in Family Planning and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health.
2020 Best Five Development Economics Paper, Bolivian Conference on Development Economics, Bolivian Academy of Economic Science.
2019–20 Young J. Kim Memorial Scholarship, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health.
2018-22 Endowed Student Support Fund, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
2015–16 Fulbright Foreign Student Program. U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Select Publications
Peer reviewed publications below.
  • Cardona, Carolina, Funmilola OlaOlorun, Elizabeth Omulabi, Peter Gichangi, Mary Thiogo, Amy Tsui, Philip Anglewicz (2022). The relationship between client dissatisfaction and contraceptive discontinuation among urban family planning clients in three sub-Saharan African countries. PLoS One, 17(8): e0271911.
  • Gummerson, Elizabeth, Carolina Cardona, Philip Anglewicz, Blake Zachary, Georges Guiella, Scott Radloff (2021). The wealth gradient and the effect of COVID-19 restrictions on income loss, food insecurity and health care access in four sub-Saharan African geographies. PLoS One, 16(12): e0260823.
  • Cardona, Carolina, David Bishai, Neha S. Anand, Yira N. Alfonso, Jonathon P. Leider, Mac J. McCullough, Beth Resnick (2021). County Health Outcomes Linkage to County Spending on Social Services, Infrastructure, and Law and Order. Social Science and Medicine-Population Health, 16(100930): 1-9.
  • Tsui, Amy O., Carolina Cardona, Varsha Srivatsan, Funmilola OlaOlorun, Elizabeth Omoluabi, Pierre Akilimali, Peter Gichangi, Mary Thiogo, the PMA Agile Principal Investigators Group, Scott Radloff, Philip Anglewicz (2021). Is Client Reporting on Contraceptive Use Always Right? Results on Consistency and Change from a Multi-Country Study. Studies in Family Planning, 52(3):361-382.
  • Cardona, Carolina, David Bishai (2018). The Slowing Pace of Life Expectancy at Birth since 1950. BMC Public Health, 18(151): 1-7.