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HIV testing, subjective beliefs and economic behavior

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  • Thornton, Rebecca L.

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of learning HIV status on economic behavior among rural Malawians. According to economic life-cycle models, if learning HIV results is informative about additional years of life, being diagnosed HIV-positive or negative should predict changes in consumption, investment and savings behavior with important micro and macro-economic implications. Using an experiment that randomly assigned incentives to learn HIV results, I find that while learning HIV results had short term effects on subjective belief of HIV infection, these differences did not persist after two years. Consistent with this, there were relatively few differences two years later in savings, income, expenditures, and employment between those who learned and did not learn their status.

Suggested Citation

  • Thornton, Rebecca L., 2012. "HIV testing, subjective beliefs and economic behavior," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 300-313.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:2:p:300-313
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2012.03.001
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    Cited by:

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    2. Kai Barron & Luis F. Gamboa & Paul Rodríguez-Lesmes, 2019. "Behavioural Response to a Sudden Health Risk: Dengue and Educational Outcomes in Colombia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(4), pages 620-644, April.
    3. Daniela Iorio & Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, 2011. "Education, HIV Status, and Risky Sexual Behavior: How Much Does the Stage of the HIV Epidemic Matter?," Working Papers 624, Barcelona School of Economics.
    4. Teresa Molina Millán & Karen Macours, 2017. "Attrition in randomized control trials: Using tracking information to correct bias," FEUNL Working Paper Series novaf:wp1702, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    5. Teresa Molina Millan & Karen Macours, 2017. "Attrition in randomized control trials: Using tracking information to correct bias," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp1702, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova School of Business and Economics, NOVAFRICA.
    6. Yokoo, Hide-Fumi & 横尾, 英史, 2020. "Ethics of randomized field experiments: Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," Discussion Papers 2020-07, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
    7. Cohen, Jessica & Saran, Indrani, 2018. "The impact of packaging and messaging on adherence to malaria treatment: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 68-95.
    8. Baird, Sarah & Gong, Erick & McIntosh, Craig & Özler, Berk, 2014. "The heterogeneous effects of HIV testing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 98-112.
    9. Alexander Cardazzi & Joshua Martin & Zachary Rodriguez, 2021. "Information Avoidance and Celebrity Exposure: The Effect of "Magic" Johnson on AIDS Diagnoses and Mortality in the U.S," Working Papers 21-04, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective beliefs; Savings; HIV; Life expectancy; Impact evaluation; Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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