IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

HIV/AIDS, growth and poverty in KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa: Integrating firm-level surveys with demographic and economywide modeling


  • Thurlow, James
  • George, Gavin
  • Gow, Jeff


"This paper estimates the economic impact of HIV/AIDS on KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the rest of South Africa (RSA). We extend previous studies by employing an integrated analytical framework that combines the following: firm-level surveys of workers' HIV prevalence by sector and occupation; a demographic model that produces both population and workforce projections; and a regionalized economywide model linked to a survey-based micro-simulation module. This framework permits a full macro-microeconomic assessment. The results indicate that HIV/AIDS greatly reduces annual economic growth, mainly by lowering the long-term rate of technical change. However, the impacts on income poverty are small, and inequality is reduced by HIV/AIDS. This is because high unemployment among low-income households minimizes the economic costs of increased mortality. In contrast, slower economic growth hurts higher-income households despite the lower prevalence of HIV among these households. We conclude that the increase in economic growth achieved through addressing HIV/AIDS is sufficient to offset the population pressure this move will place on income poverty. Moreover, incentives to mitigate HIV/AIDS lie not only with poorer infected households, but also with uninfected higher-income households. Our findings reveal that HIV/AIDS will place a substantial burden on future economic development in KZN and RSA, confirming the need for policies to curb the economic costs of this pandemic." from authors' abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Thurlow, James & George, Gavin & Gow, Jeff, 2009. "HIV/AIDS, growth and poverty in KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa: Integrating firm-level surveys with demographic and economywide modeling," IFPRI discussion papers 864, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:864

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Channing Arndt & Jeffrey D. Lewis, 2001. "The HIV|AIDS pandemic in South Africa: sectoral impacts and unemployment," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 427-449.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Judith Kabajulizi & Judith Kabajulizi & Mthuli Ncube, 2015. "The economy wide impact of HIV/AIDS and the funding dilemma in Africa: Evidence from a dynamic life cycle horizon," EcoMod2015 8563, EcoMod.

    More about this item


    HIV/AIDS; Growth; Poverty; Development strategies; KwaZulu-Natal;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:864. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.