Study: “HIV/AIDS, Life Expectancy, and Fertility and Savings Decisions: How Shocks to Life Expectancy Affect Behavior”
PI(s): Gong, Erick
Affiliation(s): University of California-Berkeley
Institutional Partner(s): IIE Fellow
Data Source(s): DHS
Methods: Matching Analysis
Geographic Location(s): sub-Saharan Africa Cross-Country Analysis (19 countries)
Poverty is commonly cited as a key driver of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, yet little causal evidence shows a link between economic conditions to actual disease outcomes. Using data on more than 200,000 individuals across 19 Sub-Saharan African countries, the study finds that negative income shocks can lead to substantial increases in HIV prevalence, particularly for women in rural areas. The results show infection rates in HIV-endemic rural areas increase by 14 percent among women and 11 percent among men during every drought event in the previous 10 years. The increases in HIV prevalence appear to be driven by an increase in the supply of transactional sex. And the analysis suggests that women working in agriculture are partnering with men employed outside agriculture. The study estimates that income shocks explain up to 20 percent of the variation in HIV prevalence across these countries, and suggests that policies can help households manage risk better through formal insurance and social safety nets during times of drought and other seasonal variations that may affect crop production.
Burke, Marshall, Gong, Erick & Jones, Kelly. (2014). Income Shocks and HIV in Africa. The Economic Journal, 125(585): 1157-1189. DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12149
Burke, Marshall, Gong, Erick & Jones, Kelly. (2011). Income Shocks and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Discussion Paper No. 01146).