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Does the AIDS epidemic threaten economic growth?


  • Bloom, David E.
  • Mahal, Ajay S.


This study examines the claim that the AIDS epidemic will slow the pace of economic growth. We do this by examining the association, across fifty-one developing and industrial countries for which we were able to assemble data, between changes in the prevalence of AIDS and the rate of growth of GDP per capita. Our analysis uses well- established empirical growth models to control for a variety of factors possibly correlated with AIDS prevalence that might also influence growth. We also account for possible simultaneity in the relationship between AIDS and economic growth. Our main finding is that the AIDS epidemic has had an insignificant effect on the growth rate of per capita income, with no evidence of reverse causality. We also find evidence that the insignificant effect of AIDS on income per capita is qualitatively similar to an insignificant effect on wages of the Black Death in England and France during the Middle Ages and an insignificant effect on output per capita of influenza in India during 1918-19.
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  • Bloom, David E. & Mahal, Ajay S., 1997. "Does the AIDS epidemic threaten economic growth?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 105-124, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:77:y:1997:i:1:p:105-124

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cuddington, John T, 1993. "Further Results on the Macroeconomic Effects of AIDS: The Dualistic, Labor-Surplus Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(3), pages 403-417, September.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    3. David E. Bloom & Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "Population Growth, Labor Supply, and Employment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 1837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bloom, David E. & Mahal, Ajay S., 1997. "Does the AIDS epidemic threaten economic growth?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 105-124, March.
    5. Cuddington, John T. & Hancock, John D., 1994. "Assessing the impact of AIDS on the growth path of the Malawian economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 363-368, April.
    6. Avner Ahituv & V. Joseph Hotz & Tomas Philipson, "undated". "Will the AIDS Epidemic be Self-Limiting? Evidence on the Responsiveness of the Demand for Condoms to the Prevalence of AIDS," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 93-3, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    7. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    8. Bloom, David E. & Freeman, Richard B., 1988. "Economic development and the timing and components of population growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 57-81, April.
    9. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-95-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Cuddington, John T, 1993. "Modeling the Macroeconomic Effects of AIDS, with an Application to Tanzania," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(2), pages 173-189, May.
    11. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    12. Bloom, David E. & Glied, Sherry, 1992. "Projecting the number of new AIDS cases in the United States," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 339-365, November.
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    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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