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HIV/AIDS-related Expectations and Risky Sexual Behavior in Malawi

  • Adeline Delavande

    (RAND Corporation)

We use probabilistic expectations data elicited from survey respondents in rural Malawi to investigate how risky sexual behavior may be influenced by individuals’ survival expectations, which in turn depend on the perceived impact of HIV/AIDS on survival; expectations about own and partner’s HIV status; and expectations about HIV transmission rates. We find that subjective expectations play an important role in determining the decision to have multiple sexual partners. Using our estimated parameters, we simulate the impact of various policies that would influence expectations. An information campaign on mortality risk would decrease risky sexual behavior, while an information campaign on HIV transmission risks, which tend to be overestimated by respondents, would actually increase risky behavior. Also, the expansion of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) treatments to all individuals sick with AIDS would increase risky sexual behavior among HIV-negative individuals or those who have not been tested because individuals are aware that ART increases life expectancy, and thus reduces the cost of becoming HIV-positive.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 90.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:90
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  1. Neeraj Sood & Dana Goldman, 2006. "HIV Breakthroughs and Risky Sexual Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 1063-1102, 08.
  2. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2007. "A Land of Milk and Honey with Streets Paved with Gold: Do Emigrants Have Over-Optimistic Expectations about Incomes Abroad?," IZA Discussion Papers 2788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Rebecca L. Thornton, 2008. "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1829-63, December.
  4. Lance Lochner, 2007. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 444-460, March.
  5. Adeline Delavande, 2008. "Measuring revisions to subjective expectations," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 43-82, February.
  6. Adeline Delavande, 2008. "Pill, Patch, Or Shot? Subjective Expectations And Birth Control Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 999-1042, 08.
  7. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kröger & Arthur van Soest, 2008. "Measuring Inequity Aversion in a Heterogeneous Population Using Experimental Decisions and Subjective Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 815-839, 07.
  8. Delavande, Adeline & Gine, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2009. "Measuring Subjective Expectations in Developing Countries: A Critical Review and New Evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4824, The World Bank.
  9. Basit Zafar, 2013. "College Major Choice and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 545-595.
  10. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
  11. Oster, Emily, 2012. "HIV and sexual behavior change: Why not Africa?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 35-49.
  12. Petra Todd & Gil Shapira & Aureo de Paula, 2009. "How Beliefs about HIV Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Malawi," 2009 Meeting Papers 532, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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