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Perception of HIV risk and the quantity and quality of children: the case of rural Malawi

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  • Ruben Castro

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  • Jere Behrman
  • Hans-Peter Kohler

Abstract

The empirical literature on the impact of HIV on the quality (Q) and quantity (N) of children provides limited and somewhat mixed evidence. This study introduces individual HIV risk perceptions, as a predictor of mortality, into a Q–N investment model. In this model, higher maternal mortality predicts lower N, while higher child mortality predicts lower Q. Thus, the two effects together make likely negative associations between HIV and both Q and N. Based on longitudinal micro-data on mothers and their children in rural Malawi, our results suggest that higher mothers’ reported HIV risk reduces both child quality, as reflected in children’s schooling and health, and child quantity, when the perceived risk is already moderate or high. The effects are sizable and, in the case of Q (schooling and health), are found for children and teenagers, both boys and girls, while in the case of N, they are found for young and mature women. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Ruben Castro & Jere Behrman & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2015. "Perception of HIV risk and the quantity and quality of children: the case of rural Malawi," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 113-132, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:28:y:2015:i:1:p:113-132
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-013-0498-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Ivets, Maryna & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "Disease and Fertility: Evidence from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Victoria Baranov & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2018. "The Impact of AIDS Treatment on Savings and Human Capital Investment in Malawi," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 266-306, January.
    3. Dick Durevall & Annika Lindskog, 2016. "Adult Mortality, AIDS, and Fertility in Rural Malawi," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 54(3), pages 215-242, September.
    4. Eriksson, Katherine & Sovero, Veronica, 2016. "The impact of HIV testing on subjective mortality and investments in children: Experimental evidence From Malawi," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 90-93.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    HIV; Child quantity; Child quality; Malawi; Fertility; Schooling; Child health; D13; I12; I20;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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