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Income shocks and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa:

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  • Burke, Marshall
  • Gong, Erick
  • Jones, Kelly

Abstract

Poverty is commonly cited as a key driver of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, yet little causal evidence exists linking economic conditions to actual disease outcomes. Using data on more than 200,000 individuals across 19 Sub-Saharan African countries, we present evidence that negative income shocks can lead to substantial increases in HIV prevalence, particularly for women in rural areas. Building on recent work showing that income shortfalls can induce some women to engage in higher-risk sex, we match data on individuals' HIV status from the Demographic and Health Surveys to data on recent variation in local rainfall, a primary (and exogenous) source of variation in income for rural households in Africa. We find that infection rates for women (men) in HIV-endemic rural areas increase significantly by 14 percent (11 percent) for every drought event experienced in the previous 10 years. Further analysis suggests that women most affected by the shocks (that is, those engaged in agriculture) are driving the women's results; these women are partnering with men least affected (those employed outside agriculture). Our findings suggest a role for formal insurance and social safety nets in tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Burke, Marshall & Gong, Erick & Jones, Kelly, 2011. "Income shocks and HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1146, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1146
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    Cited by:

    1. Lucia Corno & Nicole Hildebrandt & Alessandra Voena, 2017. "Age of Marriage, Weather Shocks, and the Direction of Marriage Payments," Working Papers 2017-055, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Marshall Burke & Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2015. "Climate and Conflict," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 577-617, August.
    3. Jean-François Maystadt & Margherita Calderone & Liangzhi You, 2015. "Local warming and violent conflict in North and South Sudan," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 649-671.
    4. Kathleen Beegle & Michelle Poulin & Gil Shapira, 2015. "HIV Testing, Behavior Change, and the Transition to Adulthood in Malawi," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(4), pages 665-684.
    5. Waage Skjeflo, Sofie & Bruvik Westberg, Nina, 2014. "Learning the hard way? Adapting to climate risk in Tanzania," CLTS Working Papers 4/14, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    6. de Walque, Damien & Dow, William H. & Gong, Erick, 2014. "Coping with risk : the effects of shocks on reproductive health and transactional sex in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6751, The World Bank.
    7. Gani Aldashev & Jean-Marie Baland, 2012. "Awareness and AIDS: A Political Economy Perspective," Working Papers 1204, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:ipg:wpaper:2013-017 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lucia Corno & Nicole Hildebrandt & Alessandra Voena, 2016. "Weather Shocks, Age of Marriage and the Direction of Marriage Payments," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def040, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
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    12. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:173-186 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Mussa, Richard, 2017. "Early-Life Rainfall Shocks and Intergenerational Education Mobility in Malawi," MPRA Paper 75978, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Jerg Gutmann & Matthias Neuenkirch & Florian Neumeier, 2017. "Sanctioned to Death? The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Life Expectancy and its Gender Gap," Research Papers in Economics 2017-06, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    HIV/AIDS; Income shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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