Impact of AIDS-Related Mortality on Farm Household Welfare in Zambia
This article uses nationally representative panel data on 5,420 rural households in Zambia, surveyed in 2001 and 2004, to measure the impacts of HIV/AIDS-related prime-age mortality on livelihoods. Using age group and drought shock interactions as instruments for prime-age mortality, we find that prime-age mortality is endogenous in pooled OLS models. However, differencing the time-invariant unobserved household characteristics largely addressed the endogeneity problem. The difference models suggest that the gender and position of the deceased in the household as well as pre-death household characteristics strongly condition the effects of mortality on household welfare outcomes. Most notably, the death of the male household head leads to relatively severe impacts on farm production and livestock assets compared to the death of other adults. Also, the impact of adult mortality is more severe among households that were initially relatively poor. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find no clear pattern of shifts to labor-saving crops among afflicted households.
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