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Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya

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  • Pascaline Dupas

Abstract

I use a randomized experiment to test whether information can change sexual behavior among teenagers in Kenya. Providing information on the relative risk of HIV infection by partner's age led to a 28% decrease in teen pregnancy, an objective proxy for the incidence of unprotected sex. Self-reported sexual behavior data suggests substitution away from older (riskier) partners and towards protected sex with same-age partners. In contrast, the national abstinence-only HIV education curriculum had no impact on teen pregnancy. These results suggest that teenagers are responsive to risk information but their sexual behavior is more elastic on the intensive than on the extensive margin.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascaline Dupas, 2009. "Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 14707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14707
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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