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The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of AIDS and the Welfare of Future African Generations

  • Alwyn Young
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    This paper simulates the impact of the AIDS epidemic on future living standards in South Africa. I emphasize two competing effects. On the one hand, the epidemic is likely to have a detrimental impact on the human capital accumulation of orphaned children. On the other hand, widespread community infection lowers fertility, both directly, through a reduction in the willingness to engage in unprotected sexual activity, and indirectly, by increasing the scarcity of labour and the value of a woman's time. I find that even with the most pessimistic assumptions concerning reductions in educational attainment, the fertility effect dominates. The AIDS epidemic, on net, enhances the future per capita consumption possibilities of the South African economy.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10991.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10991.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2004
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    Publication status: published as Young, Alwyn. "The Gift Of The Dying: The Tragedy Of AIDS And The Welfare Of Future African Generations," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2005, v120(2,May), 423-466.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10991
    Note: EFG HE
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    9. David E. Bloom & Ajay S. Mahal, 1995. "Does the AIDS Epidemic Really Threaten Economic Growth?," NBER Working Papers 5148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
    11. Clive Bell & Shantayanan Devarajan & Hans Gersbach, 2003. "The long-run economic costs of AIDS : theory and an application to South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3152, The World Bank.
    12. 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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