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HIV/AIDS, growth and poverty in KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa: Integrating firm-level surveys with demographic and economywide modeling

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  • Thurlow, James
  • George, Gavin
  • Gow, Jeff

Abstract

"This paper estimates the economic impact of HIV/AIDS on KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the rest of South Africa (RSA). We extend previous studies by employing an integrated analytical framework that combines the following: firm-level surveys of workers' HIV prevalence by sector and occupation; a demographic model that produces both population and workforce projections; and a regionalized economywide model linked to a survey-based micro-simulation module. This framework permits a full macro-microeconomic assessment. The results indicate that HIV/AIDS greatly reduces annual economic growth, mainly by lowering the long-term rate of technical change. However, the impacts on income poverty are small, and inequality is reduced by HIV/AIDS. This is because high unemployment among low-income households minimizes the economic costs of increased mortality. In contrast, slower economic growth hurts higher-income households despite the lower prevalence of HIV among these households. We conclude that the increase in economic growth achieved through addressing HIV/AIDS is sufficient to offset the population pressure this move will place on income poverty. Moreover, incentives to mitigate HIV/AIDS lie not only with poorer infected households, but also with uninfected higher-income households. Our findings reveal that HIV/AIDS will place a substantial burden on future economic development in KZN and RSA, confirming the need for policies to curb the economic costs of this pandemic." from authors' abstract

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 864.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:864

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Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Growth; Poverty; Development strategies; KwaZulu-Natal;

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  1. Channing Arndt & Jeffrey D. Lewis, 2001. "The HIV|AIDS pandemic in South Africa: sectoral impacts and unemployment," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 427-449.
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