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Mines, Migration and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

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  • Lucia Corno
  • Damien de Walque

Abstract

Swaziland and Lesotho are the countries with the highest HIV prevalence in the world. These countries have in common another distinguishing feature: during the past century, they sent massive numbers of migrant workers into South African mines. This paper examines whether mining activities in a bordering country affect HIV infections. A job in the mines implies spending a long period away from the household of origin surrounded by an active sex industry. This creates potential incentives for multiple concurrent partnerships. Using Demographic and Health Surveys, the analysis shows that migrant miners aged 30–44 are 15 percentage points more likely to be HIV positive and having a migrant miner as a partner increases the probability of infection for women by 8 percentage points. The study also shows that miners are less likely to abstain and to use condoms and that female partners of miners are more likely to engage in extra-marital sex. We interpret these results as suggesting that miners' migration into South Africa has increased the spread of HIV/AIDS in the countries of origin. Consistent with this interpretation, the associations between HIV infection and being a miner or a miner's wife are not statistically significant in Zimbabwe, characterised by a local mining industry. Copyright 2012 , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucia Corno & Damien de Walque, 2012. "Mines, Migration and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 21(3), pages 465-498, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:21:y:2012:i:3:p:465-498
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emily Oster, 2012. "Routes Of Infection: Exports And Hiv Incidence In Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1025-1058, October.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1995:85:11:1521-1525_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-34, January.
    4. de Walque, Damien, 2007. "How does the impact of an HIV/AIDS information campaign vary with educational attainment? Evidence from rural Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 686-714, November.
    5. Damien de Walque, 2007. "Sero-Discordant Couples in Five African Countries: Implications for Prevention Strategies," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(3), pages 501-523.
    6. Damien de Walque, 2009. "Does Education Affect HIV Status? Evidence from five African Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 209-233, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2013. "HIV Risk and Adolescent Behaviors in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 433-438, May.
    2. Yao, Yao, 2016. "Fertility and HIV risk in Africa," Working Paper Series 5342, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    3. de Soysa, Indra & Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene, 2013. "The natural resource curse and the spread of HIV/AIDS, 1990–2008," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 90-96.
    4. Ibrahim Kasirye, 2016. "HIV/AIDS Sero-prevalence and Socio-economic Status: Evidence from Uganda," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 28(3), pages 304-318, September.
    5. Kotsadam, Andreas & Tolonen, Anja, 2016. "African Mining, Gender, and Local Employment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 325-339.
    6. de Brauw, Alan & Mueller, Valerie & Lee, Hak Lim, 2014. "The Role of Rural–Urban Migration in the Structural Transformation of Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 33-42.
    7. Andreas Kotsadam & Anja Tolonen, 2013. "Mineral Mining and Female Employment," OxCarre Working Papers 114, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.

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