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The Effects of Male Incarceration Dynamics on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Infection Rates among African American Women and Men


  • Rucker C. Johnson
  • Steven Raphael


This paper investigates the connection between incarceration dynamics and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) infection rates, with particular emphasis on the black-white AIDS rate disparity. Using case-level U.S. data spanning 1982-96, we model the dynamic relationship between AIDS infection rates and the proportion of men in the age-, state-, and race-matched cohort that are incarcerated. We find strong effects of male incarceration rates on male and female AIDS rates. The dynamic structure of this relationship parallels the incubation time between human immunodeficiency virus infection and the onset of full-blown AIDS. These results persist after controlling for year fixed effects; a fully interacted set of age, race, and state fixed effects; crack cocaine prevalence; and flow rates in and out of prison. The results reveal that higher incarceration rates among black males over this period explain the lion's share of the racial disparity in AIDS infection among women. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Rucker C. Johnson & Steven Raphael, 2009. "The Effects of Male Incarceration Dynamics on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Infection Rates among African American Women and Men," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 251-293, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:2:p:251-293

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roland G. Fryer & Paul S. Heaton & Steven D. Levitt & Kevin M. Murphy, 2005. "Measuring the Impact of Crack Cocaine," NBER Working Papers 11318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    3. Andrews, Donald W. K. & Fair, Ray C., 1992. "Estimation of polynomial distributed lags and leads with end point constraints," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1-3), pages 123-139.
    4. Ariél Pakes & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Estimating Distributed Lags in Short Panels with an Application to the Specification of Depreciation Patterns and Capital Stock Constructs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 243-262.
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    1. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0611-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. William D. Barta & Deborah Shelton & Cheryl Cepelak & Colleen Gallagher, 2016. "Promoting a Sustainable Academic–Correctional Health Partnership: Lessons for Systemic Action Research," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 27-50, February.
    3. repec:eee:socmed:v:199:y:2018:i:c:p:19-28 is not listed on IDEAS

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