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Education, HIV Status, and Risky Sexual Behavior: How Much Does the Stage of the HIV Epidemic Matter?

  • Daniela Iorio
  • Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis

We study the relationship between education and individual HIV status using nationally representative data (Demographic and Health Surveys, DHS) for 18 countries in Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA). Because the diffusion of knowledge on HIV prevention-hence, actual change in sexual behavior-may differ across education groups, we explicitly explore the possibility of a dynamic relationship between education and the probability of being infected with HIV over aggregate stages of the HIV epidemic. Our contribution is twofold. First, we construct an innovative algorithm that positions, for any set of countries, the country-specific evolution of the HIV epidemic in a unified framework-a normalized epidemiological space-to define stages of the HIV epidemic in a comparable manner across SSA countries. Second, using this framework, we exploit epidemiological stage variation across DHS country observations and find that the relationship between education and individual HIV status is dynamic and significantly evolves with the course of the epidemic. Specifically, we show that the education gradient of HIV displays a large U-shaped (positive-zero-positive) pattern over the aggregate stages of the HIV epidemic.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 624.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:624
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  1. Anna Aizer & Laura Stroud, 2010. "Education, Knowledge and the Evolution of Disparities in Health," NBER Working Papers 15840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cutler, David & Lleras-Muney, Adriana & Deaton, Angus, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Scholarly Articles 2640588, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1998. "Malthus to Solow," NBER Working Papers 6858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. De Walque, Damien, 2004. "How does the impact of an HIV/AIDS information campaign vary with educational attainment ? Evidence from rural Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3289, The World Bank.
  5. Jane G Fortson, 2011. "Mortality Risk and Human Capital Investment: The Impact of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 1-15, February.
  6. Douglas Gollin & Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2004. "The Food Problem and the Evolution of International Income Levels," Working Papers 899, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Berthold Herrendorf & Richard Rogerson & ?kos Valentinyi, 2013. "Two Perspectives on Preferences and Structural Transformation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2752-89, December.
  8. Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-34, January.
  9. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  11. Damien de Walque, 2009. "Does Education Affect HIV Status? Evidence from five African Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 23(2), pages 209-233, June.
  12. Taryn Dinkelman & James Levinsohn & Rolang Majelantle, 2006. "When Knowledge Is Not Enough: HIV/AIDS Information and Risky Behavior In Botswana," Working Papers 553, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  13. de Walque, Damien, 2004. "Education, information, and smoking decisions : evidence from smoking histories, 1940-2000," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3362, The World Bank.
  14. Beegle, Kathleen & de Walque, Damien, 2009. "Demographic and socioeconomic patterns of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5076, The World Bank.
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