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Perception of HIV risk and the quantity and quality of children: The case of rural Malawi

Author

Listed:
  • Rubén Castro

    () (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales)

  • Jere Behrman

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Hans-Peter Kohler

    () (Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

The empirical literature on HIV and the quality (Q) and quantity (N) of children generally reports negative associations for Q and unclear associations for N. We focus our analysis on the effects of HIV, as a predictor of mother and child mortality, on investments in child Q and N. We develop a Q-N model within which higher mothers’ mortality predicts lower N while higher child mortality predicts lower Q. Those effects together make reasonable the expectation of negative influences of higher HIV likelihood on child Q and N. Based on longitudinal micro data on mothers and their children in rural Malawi we find that variation in mothers’ reported HIV risk reduces both child quality, as reflected in children’s schooling and health, and child quantity, when the perceived risk is already moderate or high. The effects are sizable, and, in the case of Q (schooling and health) are found in children and teenagers, while in the case of N are found for young and mature women.

Suggested Citation

  • Rubén Castro & Jere Behrman & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2011. "Perception of HIV risk and the quantity and quality of children: The case of rural Malawi," Working Papers 20, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales.
  • Handle: RePEc:ptl:wpaper:20
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Victoria Baranov & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2018. "The Impact of AIDS Treatment on Savings and Human Capital Investment in Malawi," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 266-306, January.
    2. Dick Durevall & Annika Lindskog, 2016. "Adult Mortality, AIDS, and Fertility in Rural Malawi," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 54(3), pages 215-242, September.
    3. Eriksson, Katherine & Sovero, Veronica, 2016. "The impact of HIV testing on subjective mortality and investments in children: Experimental evidence From Malawi," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 90-93.
    4. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Ivets, Maryna & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "Disease and Fertility: Evidence from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Sweden," Working Paper Series 1179, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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