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Awareness and AIDS: A Political Economy Model

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  • Gani Aldashev
  • Jean-Marie Baland

Abstract

We present a simple political economy model that explains two major puzzles of government policies to combat HIV/AIDS epidemic: the lack of policy response in many countries where the epidemic is massive and the reversal of the downward trend in HIV prevalence in the countries that have adopted early agressive prevention campaigns. The model builds on the assumption that the unaware citizens impose a negative externality on the aware by increasing the risk of contagion. Prevention campaigns raise awareness of the current generation, which then partially transmit this awareness to the next generation, thus creating political support for the next-period awareness campaigns. The economy has two steady-state equilibria: the "good" one (with high awareness and low prevalence) and the "bad" one (low awareness, high prevalence). The "good" equilibrium is fragile, i.e. a sufficiently large exogenous drop in HIV prevalence undermines the next-generation political support for campaigns and makes the economy drift away towards the "bad" equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Gani Aldashev & Jean-Marie Baland, 2008. "Awareness and AIDS: A Political Economy Model," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 92, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:92
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    File URL: http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.92.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. De Donder, Philippe & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2012. "Behavioral Biases and Long Term Care Annuities: A Political Economy Approach," IDEI Working Papers 749, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Feb 2013.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    HIV/AIDS; voting; overlapping generations; awareness;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health

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