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The AIDS Epidemic: Challenges for Feminist Economics


  • Cecilia Conrad
  • Cheryl Doss


Feminist economics can provide critical insights into understanding the HIV/AIDS epidemic - the disease's progression, its microeconomic and macroeconomic impacts, and the effectiveness of policy interventions. Yet, relatively little work has been or is being done by feminist economists on HIV/AIDS. In this paper, the editors briefly survey the recent social science literature on the gendered nature of the epidemic and identify key constructs of feminist economic theory that might be productively applied to understanding HIV/AIDS. For example, an analysis of safe sex within a game-theoretic bargaining framework would highlight the limitations of prevention efforts that focus on changing individual behavior and underscore the impact of gendered institutions on women's likelihood of infection and access to treatment. A gendered analysis of the microeconomic and macroeconomic impacts of HIV/AIDS would contribute to a fuller understanding of the disease's impact on economic well-being. This paper challenges feminist economists to address these important research questions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cecilia Conrad & Cheryl Doss, 2008. "The AIDS Epidemic: Challenges for Feminist Economics," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 1-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:14:y:2008:i:4:p:1-18 DOI: 10.1080/13545700802262998

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Colander, 2005. "The Making of an Economist Redux," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 175-198, Winter.
    2. Colander, David, 2003. "The Aging of an Economist," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(02), pages 157-176, June.
    3. Kahn, Shulamit, 1993. "Gender Differences in Academic Career Paths of Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 52-56, May.
    4. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2004. "Women in Economics: Moving Up or Falling Off the Academic Career Ladder?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 193-214, Summer.
    5. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    6. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and Competition at a Young Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 377-381, May.
    7. David Neumark & Rosella Gardecki, 1998. "Women Helping Women? Role Model and Mentoring Effects on Female Ph.D. Students in Economics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 220-246.
    8. McDowell, John M & Smith, Janet Kiholm, 1992. "The Effect of Gender-Sorting on Propensity to Coauthor: Implications for Academic Promotion," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 68-82, January.
    9. John M. McDowell & Larry D. Singell & Mark Stater, 2006. "Two to Tango? Gender Differences in the Decisions to Publish and Coauthor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 153-168, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerritzen, Berit C., 2014. "Intra-Household Bargaining Power and HIV Prevention: Empirical Evidence from Married Couples in Rural Malawi," Economics Working Paper Series 1408, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    2. Muchomba, Felix M. & Wang, Julia Shu-Huah & Agosta, Laura Maria, 2014. "Women's land ownership and risk of HIV infection in Kenya," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 97-102.

    More about this item


    HIV/AIDS; care work; macroeconomic models; health economics; JEL Codes: I0; O1;

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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