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Fiscal Implications of Aids in South Africa

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Abstract

The number of people living with HIV is alarmingly large. In addition to the incomprehensible human suffering of those directly affected, AIDS also has large, negative economic effects. In this paper, I study the fiscal implications of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa in a standard neo-classical growth model. I find that an antiretroviral program is to a large extent self financing. Improvement in dependency ratios and health care cost savings would pay for Rand 144 billion of a full epidemiological intervention. The indirect effect through the changing demographic structure will be more important than the direct health care cost saving effect. I also explore different taxation policies. The households would be willing to sacrifice an amount equal to 12% of GDP in the first period to be subject to an optimal (Ramsey) fiscal policy rather than an alternative fixed debt to GDP policy. The optimal policy implies an increase in government debt during the peak of the epidemic.

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  • Johansson, Lars, 2006. "Fiscal Implications of Aids in South Africa," Research Papers in Economics 2006:11, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2006_0011
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    File URL: http://www2.ne.su.se/paper/wp06_11.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
    2. Markus Haacker, 2002. "The Economic Consequences of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/38, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Martin FlodÈn, 2003. "Public Saving and Policy Coordination in Aging Economies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 379-400, September.
    4. Alwyn Young, 2005. "The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of AIDS and the Welfare of Future African Generations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 423-466.
    5. C Arndt & J D Lewis, 2000. "The Macro Implications of HIV/AIDS in South Africa: A Preliminary Assessment," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 68(5), pages 380-392, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johansson, Lars M., 2007. "Fiscal implications of AIDS in South Africa," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1614-1640, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    AIDS; Fiscal Impact; Economic Impact; Fiscal Policy; Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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