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HIV/AIDS and its impact on convergence in life expectancy, infant and child survival rates

  • Eric Neumayer

This article analyzes the impact of HIV/AIDS on the global convergence in life expectancy as well as infant and child survival rates by comparing two scenarios. One is based on actual estimated and extrapolated values given the existence of the epidemic (‘AIDS- scenario’). The other is based on hypothetical values based on estimations where the mortality caused by the epidemic is taken out (‘No AIDS-scenario’). Both â- and ó-convergence analysis is undertaken both with and without weighting by population size. In the ‘AIDS-scenario’ convergence in life expectancy becomes stalled in the late 1980s (without weighting) or 1990s (with weighting). Convergence in infant and child survival rates does not become stalled, but slows down. That these results are mainly due to the epidemic follows from the convergence analysis in the ‘No AIDS-scenario’, where all signs of stalled convergence or even divergence disappear. The reason why HIV/AIDS has such a strong impact on convergence is because the disease is most prevalent in low-income countries with rampant poverty, deficient health care systems and relatively low life expectancies and survival rates.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0405001.

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Date of creation: 11 May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0405001
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  1. John C. Caldwell, 2000. "Rethinking the African AIDS Epidemic," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(1), pages 117-135.
  2. Edoardo Gaffeo, 2003. "The Economics of HIV/AIDS: A Survey," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21(1), pages 27-49, 01.
  3. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "The classical approach to convergence analysis," Economics Working Papers 117, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Quah, Danny T., 1996. "Empirics for economic growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1353-1375, June.
  6. Kenny, Charles, 2005. "Why Are We Worried About Income? Nearly Everything that Matters is Converging," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-19, January.
  7. Hobijn, Bart & Franses, Philip Hans, 2001. "Are living standards converging?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 171-200, July.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
  9. Randa Sab & Stephen C. Smith, 2001. "Human Capital Convergence; International Evidence," IMF Working Papers 01/32, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Krishna Mazumdar, 2003. "Do Standards of Living Converge? A Cross-country Study," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 29-50, October.
  11. Pritchett, Lant, 1995. "Divergence, big time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1522, The World Bank.
  12. Neumayer, Eric, 2003. "Beyond income: convergence in living standards, big time," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 275-296, September.
  13. Watson, Peggy, 1995. "Explaining rising mortality among men in Eastern Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 923-934, October.
  14. Richard A. Easterlin, 2000. "The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 7-26, Winter.
  15. Ram, Rati & Schultz, Theodore W, 1979. "Life Span, Health, Savings, and Productivity," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 399-421, April.
  16. Theil, Henri & Theil, Henri, 1979. "World income inequality and its components," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 99-102.
  17. Quah, Danny T, 1997. " Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
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