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How Beliefs About HIV Affect Fertility, Infant and Child Mortality, and Child Schooling Decisions in Rural Malawi

  • 2009-2011
  • Project
Shapira, Gil, University of Pennsylvania

Study: “How Beliefs About HIV Affect Fertility, Infant and Child Mortality, and Child Schooling Decisions in Rural Malawi”
PI(s): Shapira, Gil
Affiliation(s): University of Pennsylvania
Institutional Partner(s): IIE Fellow
Project Dates:
Start: August 2009
End: August 2011
Data Source(s): Panel Data Collection
Methods: Dynamic Lifecycle Model, MV Regression
Geographic Location(s): Malawi

Description:
Parents’ beliefs about their own infection status have the potential to affect their choices regarding reproduction and investments in child education. This project analyzes how women’s beliefs about their own HIV status affect fertility and intergenerational investments in human capital in rural Malawi. The project also evaluates the scope for different policy interventions to affect fertility patterns, infant and child mortality, and child schooling. Using a dynamic life cycle model of women’s decisionmaking with regard to fertility and schooling of children in an environment of uncertainty about one’s own HIV status, the uncertainty about own health status implied uncertainty about the length of one’s own life and the probability of infant mortality. The study structurally estimates the model using the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project dataset, collected in three rural regions of the country between 1998 and 2008. The study also predicts the impact of a range of actual and hypothetical policies. Examples of such policies include increasing access to education and health facilities and services, provision of antiretroviral drugs, and different cash transfer schemes.

Research Outputs:

Shapira, Gil. (2013). How Subjective Beliefs About HIV Infection Affect Life-Cycle Fertility: Evidence from Rural Malawi (World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6343).

Shapira, Gil. (2011). How Subjective Beliefs about HIV Infection Affect Life-Cycle Fertility: Evidence from Rural Malawi (Doctoral dissertation). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. DOI: 10.1596/1813-9450-6343

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