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Risky sexual behavior: biological markers and self-reported data

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  • Corno, Lucia
  • De Paula, Áureo

Abstract

Self-reported data on sexual behaviors have been criticized to be unreliable. In recent studies, risky sexual behaviors have therefore been measured using biomarkers for curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Nevertheless, no previous research have tested how reliable such data are. In this paper, we first build an epidemiological model to assess the relative performance of biomarkers versus self-reported data. We then suggest an econometric strategy that combines both types of measures, biomarkers and self-reported data, to improve the estimation of correlates of risky sexual behaviors. Using the Demographic and Health Survey from Zambia, we calibrate the model and provide conditions under which self-reported data are a better proxy for risky sexual behaviors than biomarkers. In countries with low STIs prevalence, the biomarker has a higher probability of misclassification of risky behaviors than self-reported answers. Finally, we apply our estimation strategy to these data.

Suggested Citation

  • Corno, Lucia & De Paula, Áureo, 2014. "Risky sexual behavior: biological markers and self-reported data," CEPR Discussion Papers 10271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10271
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Oriana Bandiera & Niklas Buehren & Robin Burgess & Markus Goldstein & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman, 2014. "Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 050, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    2. repec:aea:aejapp:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:287-314 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wilson, Nicholas, 2016. "Antiretroviral therapy and demand for HIV testing: Evidence from Zambia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 221-240.
    4. Martina Björkman Nyqvist & Lucia Corno & Damien de Walque & Jakob Svensson, 2018. "Incentivizing Safer Sexual Behavior: Evidence from a Lottery Experiment on HIV Prevention," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 287-314, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    biomarker; misclassification; risky behaviour; self-reported;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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