The economics of sexuality: The effect of HIV/AIDS on homosexual behavior in the United States
AbstractIn this paper, I test a simple microeconomic theory of sexuality. I apply the theory to make predictions about the effect of AIDS on sexuality, since AIDS dramatically altered the cost of sexual activities. Using a nationally representative dataset on sexuality in the United States, I estimate the effect of AIDS on male and female homosexual behavior. To do so, I postulate that people who have a relative with AIDS, on average, have more knowledge, awareness, and fear of AIDS. Empirically, this variable is uncorrelated with a number of individual background characteristics. I present evidence that AIDS causes some men to shift from homosexual to heterosexual behavior, whereas AIDS causes some women to shift from heterosexual to homosexual behavior. Thus, sexual behavior may respond to incentives. I consider alternative hypotheses, including biological theories of sexual orientation and stigma-related survey bias, and argue that they are unlikely to explain the results.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.
Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gregson, Simon & Zhuwau, Tom & Anderson, Roy M. & Chandiwana, Stephen K., 1998. "Is there evidence for behaviour change in response to AIDS in rural Zimbabwe?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 321-330, February.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-46, December.
- Pinkerton, Steven D. & Abramson, Paul R., 1997. "Effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV transmission," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1303-1312, May.
- Gerald S. Oettinger, 1999. "The Effects of Sex Education on Teen Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 606-635, June.
- Emily Oster, 2005. "Sexually Transmitted Infections, Sexual Behavior, and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 467-515, May.
- Paul Gertler & Manisha Shah & Stefano M. Bertozzi, 2005. "Risky Business: The Market for Unprotected Commercial Sex," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 518-550, June.
- Michael Kremer, 1996. "Integrating Behavioral Choice into Epidemiological Models of the AIDS Epidemic," NBER Working Papers 5428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael A. Boozer & Tomas J. Philipson, 2000. "The Impact of Public Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 419-446.
- Kremer, Michael, 1996. "Integrating Behavioral Choice into Epidemiological Models of AIDS," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 549-73, May.
- Chesson, Harrell & Harrison, Paul & Kassler, William J, 2000. "Sex Under the Influence: The Effect of Alcohol Policy on Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates in the United States," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 215-38, April.
- Avner Ahituv & V. Joseph Hotz & Tomas Philipson, 1996. "The Responsiveness of the Demand for Condoms to the Local Prevalence of AIDS," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 869-897.
- Neeraj Sood & Dana Goldman, 2006.
"HIV Breakthroughs and Risky Sexual Behavior,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 1063-1102, 08.
- Emily Oster, 2007. "HIV and Sexual Behavior Change: Why Not Africa?," NBER Working Papers 13049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Oster, Emily, 2012. "HIV and sexual behavior change: Why not Africa?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 35-49.
- Francis, Andrew M. & Mialon, Hugo M., 2010. "Tolerance and HIV," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 250-267, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.