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HIV/AIDS as a Fiscal Liability


  • Haacker, Markus


The costs of HIV/AIDS programs are significant from a macroeconomic or fiscal perspective in a number of countries. Assessing the fiscal implications is complicated by the long lags between infection and the need for HIV/AIDS-related services, and the long duration over which these services (notably treatment) are required. The paper interprets the fiscal costs of HIV/AIDS programs as quasi-liabilities, which are incurred by HIV infections and are paid off as HIV/AIDS-related services are delivered. On the microeconomic level, the analysis yields estimates of the costs incurred by single HIV infections, which - together with other criteria - can be used in assessing the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS program allocations. On the macroeconomic level, the analysis highlights the large magnitude of the HIV/AIDS quasi-liability (according to criteria for the sustainability of public debt), and quantifies the fiscal savings achieved or projected as a consequence of declining HIV incidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Haacker, Markus, 2011. "HIV/AIDS as a Fiscal Liability," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 35, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:35

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Judith Kabajulizi & Judith Kabajulizi & Mthuli Ncube, 2015. "The economy wide impact of HIV/AIDS and the funding dilemma in Africa: Evidence from a dynamic life cycle horizon," EcoMod2015 8563, EcoMod.
    2. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:5:p:843-860 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Paul Collier & Olivier C. Sterck & Richard Manning, 2015. "The Moral and Fiscal Implications of Anti-Retroviral Therapies for HIV in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item


    HIV/AIDS; health shocks; health expenditures; social expenditures; fiscal space; debt sustainability; quasi-liabilities; Africa; Botswana; South Africa; Swaziland; Uganda;

    JEL classification:

    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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