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The long-run impacts of adult deaths on older household members in Tanzania


  • Adhvaryu, Achyuta R.
  • Beegle, Kathleen


HIV/AIDS is drastically changing the demographic landscape in high-prevalence countries in Africa. The prime-age adult population bears the majority of the mortality burden. These “missing” prime-age adults have implications for the socioeconomic well-being of surviving family members. This study uses a 13-year panel from Tanzania to examine the impacts of prime-age mortality on the time use and health outcomes of older adults, with a focus on long-run impacts and gender dimensions. Prime-age deaths are weakly associated with increases in working hours of older women when the deceased adult was co-resident in the household. The association is strongest when the deceased adult was living with the elderly individual at the time of death and for deaths in the distant past, suggesting that shorter-run studies may not capture the full extent of the consequences of adult mortality for survivors. Holding more assets seems to buffer older adults from having to work more after these shocks. Most health indicators are not worse for older adults when a prime-age household member died, although more distant adult deaths are associated with an increased probability of acute illness for the surviving elderly. For deaths of children who were not residing with their parents at baseline, the findings show no impact on hours worked or health outcomes.

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  • Adhvaryu, Achyuta R. & Beegle, Kathleen, 2009. "The long-run impacts of adult deaths on older household members in Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5037, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5037

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beegle, Kathleen, 2005. "Labor Effects of Adult Mortality in Tanzanian Households," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 655-683, April.
    2. Harsha Thirumurthy & Joshua Graff Zivin & Markus Goldstein, 2008. "The Economic Impact of AIDS Treatment: Labor Supply in Western Kenya," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 511-552.
    3. Veni Naidu & Geoff Harris, 2005. "The Impact Of Hiv/Aids Morbidity And Mortality On Households - A Review Of Household Studies," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(s1), pages 533-544, December.
    4. Carletto, Gero & Covarrubias, Katia & Davis, Benjamin & Krausova, Marika & Stamoulis, Kostas G. & Winters, Paul C. & Zezza, Alberto, 2007. "Rural Income Generating Activities in Developing Countries: Re-assessing the Evidence," eJADE: electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization, Agricultural and Development Economics Division, vol. 4(1).
    5. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, July.
    6. Ainsworth, Martha & Dayton, Julia, 2003. "The Impact of the AIDS Epidemic on the Health of Older Persons in Northwestern Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 131-148, January.
    7. Beegle, Kathleen & Filmer, Deon & Stokes, Andrew & Tiererova, Lucia, 2010. "Orphanhood and the Living Arrangements of Children in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 1727-1746, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Allen, Summer L. & Badiane, Ousmane & Ulimwengu, John M., 2012. "Government expenditures, social outcomes, and marginal productivity of agricultural inputs: a case study for Tanzania," IFPRI discussion papers 1172, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Ardington, Cally & Bärnighausen, Till & Case, Anne & Menendez, Alicia, 2014. "The economic consequences of AIDS mortality in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 48-60.

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    Population Policies; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Gender and Health; Demographics; Gender and Social Development;

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