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How Subjective Beliefs about HIV Infection Affect Life-Cycle Fertility: Evidence from Rural Malawi

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  • Gil Shapira

Abstract

This paper assesses the link between beliefs about HIV infection and fertility. I develop and estimate a dynamic discrete-choice life-cycle fertility model in which expectations about life horizon and child survival depend on perceived HIV infection. Using data containing beliefs on own status, I show that the presence of HIV reduces average lifetime fertility in rural Malawi by 0.15 births. Counterfactual policy simulations predict that prevention of mother-to-child transmission and HIV testing would have overall negligible impacts on fertility, although testing reduces the fertility of infected women, leading to a reduction in child mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Gil Shapira, 2017. "How Subjective Beliefs about HIV Infection Affect Life-Cycle Fertility: Evidence from Rural Malawi," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(3), pages 680-718.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:52:y:2017:i:3:p:680-718
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.52.3.0314-6263R1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2012. "AIDS, “reversal” of the demographic transition and economic development: evidence from Africa," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 871-897, July.
    2. repec:mpr:mprres:7082 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chinhui Juhn & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Belgi Turan, 2013. "HIV and fertility in Africa: first evidence from population-based surveys," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 835-853, July.
    4. James J. Heckman & Robert J. Willis, 1976. "Estimation of a Stochastic Model of Reproduction: An Econometric Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Household Production and Consumption, pages 99-146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1984. "An Estimable Dynamic Stochastic Model of Fertility and Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 852-874, October.
    6. Alwyn Young, 2005. "The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of AIDS and the Welfare of Future African Generations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 423-466.
    7. Dick Durevall & Annika Lindskog, 2011. "Uncovering the impact of the HIV epidemic on fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Malawi," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 629-655, April.
    8. Delavande, Adeline & Giné, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Measuring subjective expectations in developing countries: A critical review and new evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 151-163, March.
    9. Jane G. Fortson, 2009. "HIV/AIDS and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 170-194, July.
    10. Rebecca L. Thornton, 2008. "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1829-1863, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Anukriti, S & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Tam, Hiu, 2016. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: New Evidence on Abortion, Fertility, and Parental Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 10271, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. S Anukriti & Sonia Bhalotra & Hiu Tam, 2018. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments, and Mortality," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 950, Boston College Department of Economics.

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