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Marriage, schooling, and excess mortality in prime-age adults: Evidence from South Africa


  • Yamauchi, Futoshi


"The institution of marriage plays some role in determining one's risk of exposure to HIV. Since the transmission of HIV in the population is mainly through sexual activity, avoiding infection depends on risk-avoiding behavior. Consistently, empirical results show that excess mortality is concentrated in not-yet married adults aged 20-39 among both men and women. Therefore, the choice of when and who to marry appears to be related to risk of exposure. The objective of this paper is to determine the effect that schooling has on HIV/AIDS excess mortality, using panel data from South Africa. This paper tests the hypothesis that schooling affects when and who one marries and thus impacts the risk of mortality from HIV/AIDS. The effect could be negative or positive. On the one hand, since educated agents have incentives to secure returns to their human capital in the future, more education implies earlier marriage, given that the marriage institution effectively decreases the HIV-related mortality risk. On the other hand, education increases the opportunity costs of marriage especially for women, who need to increase their time spent in the household. Thus, schooling may increase mortality risks due to the increased risk of HIV infection... Results show that schooling increases excess mortality among women, but not among men... In sum, schooling increases the opportunity cost of marriage for women, which delays marriage and increases their mortality risks in high HIV-prevalence societies, but has the opposite effect on men. Our analysis demonstrated the need to integrate our understandings of the marriage market, the labor market, schooling investments, and youth behavior to identify the determinants of AIDS-related excess mortality." from Authors' Abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2007. "Marriage, schooling, and excess mortality in prime-age adults: Evidence from South Africa," IFPRI discussion papers 691, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:691

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. T. Paul Schultz, 1994. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 637-669.
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    5. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-758.
    6. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
    7. Boulier, Bryan L & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1984. "Schooling, Search, and Spouse Selection: Testing Economic Theories of Marriage and Household Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(4), pages 712-732, August.
    8. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
    9. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2004. "Are experience and schooling complementary? Evidence from migrants' assimilation in the Bangkok labor market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 489-513, August.
    10. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
    11. Nancy Luke & Kaivan Munshi, 2006. "New Roles for Marriage in Urban Africa: Kinship Networks and the Labor Market in Kenya," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 264-282, May.
    12. Mark Gersovitz, 2005. "The HIV Epidemic in Four African Countries Seen through the Demographic and Health Surveys," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(2), pages 191-246, June.
    13. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Why Are There Returns to Schooling?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 153-158, May.
    14. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2005:i:8:p:1-8 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Futoshi Yamauchi & Thabani Buthelezi & Myriam Velia, 2008. "Impacts of Prime-age Adult Mortality on Labour Supply: Evidence from Adolescents and Women in South Africa," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(3), pages 375-398, June.

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    Marriage; Schooling; Excess mortality; HIV/AIDS; Gender;

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