Internet's Dirty Secret: Assessing the Impact of Online Intermediaries on the Outbreak of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
AbstractWe investigate how the expansion of Craigslist into different states over a 11 year period in the United States affected the incidence of HIV. Using a natural experiment setup, we identify the effects of Craigslist's entry on HIV trends by exploiting the variations across states and time. After controlling for extraneous factors, our results show that Craigslist's entry leads to a 19.8 percent increase in HIV cases, which maps out to an average of 158.7 cases for a state in a year. The analyses further suggest that non-market related casual sex serves as the underlying mechanism driving the increase in HIV cases, while paid transactions (e.g., escort services and prostitution) solicited on the site do not influence HIV trends. The increases in HIV cases as a result of Craigslist entry are estimated to impose treatment costs of over $118 million annually on the U.S. healthcare system. Study implications and limitations are discussed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 12-07.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision: Sep 2012
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Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/
HIV; Entry; Online Platforms; Public Health;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Longitudinal Data; Spatial Time Series
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2012-11-03 (Health Economics)
- NEP-ICT-2012-11-03 (Information & Communication Technologies)
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.:
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NBER Working Papers
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