How Beliefs about HIV Status Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Malawi
AbstractMany HIV testing programs in Africa and elsewhere aim to reduce risk-taking behaviors by providing individuals with information about their own HIV status. This paper examines how beliefs about own HIV status affect risky sexual behavior using data from married couples living in three regions of Malawi. Risky behavior is measured as the propensity to engage in extramarital affairs or to not use condoms. The empirical analysis is based on two panel surveys for years 2004 and 2006 from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP) and from an experimental HIV testing intervention carried out in 2004 that provided randomized incentives for picking up test results. Most individuals participating in the MDICP testing learned that they were HIV negative and a small fraction that they were positive. Controlling for potential endogeneity between beliefs and risk-taking, we find that downward revisions in the subjective belief of being HIV positive lead to decreases in the propensity to engage in extra-marital affairs but have no effect on condom use. These results are generally supported by survey questions that directly elicited from respondents how participating in testing altered their behavior. We show that the estimates provide a lower bound in the presence of measurement error in extra-marital affairs.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 08-035.
Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 03 Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Beliefs; AIDS; Malawi;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2008-10-21 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2008-10-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2008-10-21 (Development)
- NEP-HEA-2008-10-21 (Health Economics)
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.:
- Emily Oster, 2007. "HIV and Sexual Behavior Change: Why Not Africa?," NBER Working Papers 13049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997.
"Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Philipson, Tomas J & Posner, Richard A, 1995. "A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of the Effects of Public Health Subsidies for STD Testing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 445-74, May.
- 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.
- Rebecca L. Thornton, 2008. "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1829-63, December.
- 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.
- StÃ©phane Mechoulan, 2004. "HIV Testing: a Trojan Horse?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 0(1), pages 18.
- Georges Reniers, 2003. "Divorce and Remarriage in Rural Malawi," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 1(6), pages 175-206, September.
- Rubén Castro & Jere Behrman & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2011. "Perception of HIV risk and the quantity and quality of children: The case of rural Malawi," Working Papers 20, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales.
- Delavande, Adeline & Gine, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2009.
"Measuring Subjective Expectations in Developing Countries: A Critical Review and New Evidence,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4824, The World Bank.
- Delavande, Adeline & Giné, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Measuring subjective expectations in developing countries: A critical review and new evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 151-163, March.
- Daniel Bennett & Chun-Fang Chiang & Anup Malani, 2011. "Learning During a Crisis: the SARS Epidemic in Taiwan," NBER Working Papers 16955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dolly Guarini).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.