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HIV and Fertility in Africa: First Evidence from Population Based Surveys

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  • Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan

    (University of Houston and NBER)

  • Belgi Turan

    (University of Houston)

  • Chinhui Juhn

    (University of Houston and NBER)

Abstract

The historical pattern of the demographic transition suggests that fertility declines follow mortality declines, followed by a rise in human capital accumulation and economic growth. The HIV/AIDS epidemic threatens to reverse this path. A recent paper by Young (2005), however, suggests that similar to the ``Black Death'' episode in Europe, HIV/AIDS will actually lead to higher growth per capita among the affected African countries. Not only will population decline, behavioral responses in fertility will reinforce this decline by reducing the willingness to engage in unprotected sex. We utilize recent rounds of the Demographic and Health Surveys which link an individual woman's fertility outcomes to her HIV status based on testing. The data allows us to distinguish the effect of own positive HIV status on fertility (which may be due to lower fecundity and other physiological reasons) from the behavioral response to higher mortality risk, as measured by the local community HIV prevalence. We show that HIV-infected women have significantly lower fertility. In contrast to Young (2005), however, we find that local community HIV prevalence has no significant effect on non-infected women's fertility.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 650.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:650

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  1. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2003. "A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 103-118, February.
  2. David E. Bloom & Ajay S. Mahal, 1995. "Does the AIDS Epidemic Really Threaten Economic Growth?," NBER Working Papers 5148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Clive Bell & Shantayanan Devarajan & Hans Gersbach, 2003. "The long-run economic costs of AIDS : theory and an application to South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3152, The World Bank.
  4. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Ashley Lester & David N. Weil, 2008. "When Does Improving Health Raise GDP?," NBER Working Papers 14449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
  6. Robert Tamura, 2002. "Human capital and economic development," Working Paper 2002-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1986. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  10. Alwyn Young, 2005. "The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of Aids and the Welfare of Future African Generations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 423-466, May.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2006. "AIDS, "Reversal" of the Demographic Transition and Economic Development: Evidence from Africa," NBER Working Papers 12181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Corrigan, Paul & Glomm, Gerhard & Mendez, Fabio, 2005. "AIDS crisis and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 107-124, June.
  16. Emily Oster, 2007. "HIV and Sexual Behavior Change: Why Not Africa?," NBER Working Papers 13049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Sah, R.K., 1989. "The Effects Of Mortality Changes On Fertility Choice And Individual Welfare: Some Theoretical Predictions," Papers 599, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  18. Emily Oster, 2007. "Routes of Infection: Exports and HIV Incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 13610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Chris Papageorgiou & Petia Stoytcheva, . "What Do We Know About the Impact of AIDS on Cross-Country Income So Far?," Departmental Working Papers 2005-01, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  20. Robert E. Lucas, 2000. "Some Macroeconomics for the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 159-168, Winter.
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