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Subjective expectations in the context of HIV/AIDS in Malawi

Author

Listed:
  • Adeline Delavande

    (RAND Corporation)

  • Hans-Peter Kohler

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper we present a newly-developed interactive elicitation methodology to collect probabilistic expectations in a developing country context with low levels of literacy and numeracy, and we evaluate the feasibility and success of this method for a wide range of outcomes in rural Malawi. We find that respondent's answers about subjective expectations respect basic properties of probabilities, and vary meaningfully with observable characteristics and past experience. From a substantive point of view, the elicited expectations indicate that individuals are generally aware of differential risks. For example, individuals with less income and less land feel rightly at more risk of financial distress than people with higher SES, or people who are divorced or widow feel rightly at more risk of being infected with HIV than currently married individuals. While many expectations---including also the probability of being currently infected with HIV---are well-calibrated compared to actual probabilities, mortality expectations are substantially over-estimated compared to lifetable estimates. This overestimation may lead individuals to underestimate the benefits of adopting HIV risk-reduction strategies. The skewed distribution of expectations about condom use also suggests that a small group of innovators are the forerunners in the adoption of condoms within marriage for HIV prevention.

Suggested Citation

  • Adeline Delavande & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2009. "Subjective expectations in the context of HIV/AIDS in Malawi," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 20(31), pages 817-875, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:20:y:2009:i:31
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    File URL: https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol20/31/20-31.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Greenwood & Philipp Kircher & Cezar Santos & Michèle Tertilt, 2013. "An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic," NBER Working Papers 18953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Armand, Alex & Carneiro, Pedro & Locatelli, Andrea & Mihreteab, Selam & Keating, Joseph, 2017. "Do public health interventions crowd out private health investments? Malaria control policies in Eritrea," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 107-115.
    4. Sequeira, Sandra & Spinnewijn, Johannes & Xu, Guo, 2016. "Rewarding schooling success and perceived returns to education: evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68279, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2013. "A land of milk and honey with streets paved with gold: Do emigrants have over-optimistic expectations about incomes abroad?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 116-127.
    6. Wilson, Nicholas, 2016. "Antiretroviral therapy and demand for HIV testing: Evidence from Zambia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 221-240.
    7. Agarwal, Sandip Kumar, 2017. "Subjective beliefs and decision making under uncertainty in the field," ISU General Staff Papers 201701010800006248, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Brian Blackburn & Aprajit Mahajan & Alessandro Tarozzi & Joanne Yoong, 2009. "Bednets, Information and Malaria in Orissa," Discussion Papers 08-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    9. Álvarez, Begoña & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2013. "Exploiting subjective information to understand impoverished children's use of health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1194-1204.
    10. Agarwal, Sandip & Jacobs, Keri L. & Weninger, Quinn, 2016. "Elicitation of Subjective Beliefs: A Pilot study of farmers' nitrogen management decision-making in Central Iowa," ISU General Staff Papers 201601010800001005, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    11. Kim, Jinho, 2016. "The effect of peers on HIV infection expectations among Malawian adolescents: Using an instrumental variables/school fixed effect approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 61-69.
    12. Bozzoli, Carlos & Brück, Tilman & Muhumuza, Tony, 2011. "Does war influence individual expectations?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 288-291.
    13. Sequeira, Sandra & Spinnewijn, Johannes & Xu, Guo, 2016. "Rewarding schooling success and perceived returns to education: Evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 373-392.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    HIV/AIDS; Malawi; probabilistic expectations; risk perception; subjective expectations; sub-Saharan Africa; survey methodology;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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