HIV and fertility in Africa: first evidence from population-based surveys
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The historical pattern of the demographic transition suggests that fertility declines follow mortality declines, followed by a rise in human capital accumulation and economic growth. The HIV/AIDS epidemic threatens to reverse this path. We utilize recent rounds of the demographic and health surveys that link an individual woman’s fertility outcomes to her HIV status based on testing. The data allow us to distinguish the effect of own positive HIV status on fertility (which may be due to lower fecundity and other physiological reasons) from the behavioral response to higher mortality risk, as measured by the local community HIV prevalence. We show that although HIV-infected women have significantly lower fertility, local community HIV prevalence has no significant effect on noninfected women’s fertility.
KeywordsHIV/AIDS Fertility Economic development
Mathematics Subject Classifications (2010)O12 I12 J13
We thank Janet Currie, Angus Deaton, Jane Fortson, Emily Oster, Adriana Lleras-Muney, seminar participants at Princeton, University of Texas Austin, the 2007 AIDS Workshop at Amsterdam Institute for International Development, the 2008 Society of Labor Economists Meetings, the 2009 Health and Macroeconomy Conference in University of California at Santa Barbara, the 2009 Health and Macroeconomics Conference in Madrid, and the 2009 American Economic Association Annual Meetings session on “HIV/AIDS and Economic Development” for valuable comments and suggestions.
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