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Bias, Not Error: Assessments of the Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS Using Evidence from Micro Studies in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Deborah Johnston
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    Economists struggle to understand the macroeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS. To this end, they have constructed macro models that utilize simplified pictures of the working of the economy and then factor in channels by which HIV/AIDS will have an effect. These models have considerable influence on HIV/AIDS policy; however, they do have their critics. Criticisms in the literature have focused on the simplifications in the construction of the economy that seem most misleading. Using micro studies of sub-Saharan Africa as examples, this contribution argues that there are other important simplifications used by models that need to be reconsidered. Rather than a series of unconnected errors in the modeling process, the approaches show pervasive gender bias, which means that many of the impacts of greater female mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa are ignored. Gender-aware modeling is crucial to improving assessment of the aggregate impact of the pandemic both in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 87-115

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:14:y:2008:i:4:p:87-115
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700802262915
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