Journal article

The Impact of AIDS Treatment on Savings and Human Capital Investment in Malawi

Victoria Baranov, Hans-Peter Kohler

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics | American Economic Association | Published : 2018

Abstract

Antiretroviral therapy (ART), a treatment for AIDS, is rapidly increasing life expectancy throughout sub-Saharan African countries affected by the AIDS epidemic. This change in life expectancy has potentially profound influences on life-cycle decisions. A longer life expectancy increases the value of human capital investment, while the effect on savings is theoretically ambiguous and life-cycle saving could increase or decrease. This paper uses spatial and temporal variation in ART availability to evaluate the impact of ART provision on savings and investment. We find that ART availability significantly increases savings, expenditures on education, and children's schooling, including among H..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Awarded by National Institute of Child Health and Development at the University of Pennsylvania


Awarded by National Institute on Aging at the University of Pennsylvania


Awarded by National Institute of Child Health and Development Population Research Infrastructure Program at the University of Pennsylvania


Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank anonymous referees for comments and suggestions that substantially improved the paper. This paper is a revised version of the first chapter of Baranov's dissertation at the University of Chicago. We also thank Daniel Bennett, Pietro Biroli, Hoyt Bleakley, Erica Field, Alex Frankel, Sendhil Mullainathan, Matt Notowidigdo, Nathan Nunn, Emily Oster, Rebecca Thornton, Tom Wilkening, and Jenny Williams for helpful suggestions. Essential feedback was provided by participants at NEUDC 2012, MWEIDC 2013, Young Lives Conference at Oxford, and University of Chicago workshops. Baranov is grateful for support from the Beinecke Scholarship and the National Science Foundation GRFP. The data collection of the MLSFH has been approved by the IRB at the University of Pennsylvania and the National Health and Science Research Committee (NHSRC) in Malawi. The authors gratefully acknowledge the generous support for this research through National Institute of Child Health and Development (grant numbers R03HD058976, R21HD050652, R21HD071471, R21AG053763, R01HD044228, R01HD053781, R01HD087391), the National Institute on Aging (grant number P30 AG12836), the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Security at the University of Pennsylvania, and the National Institute of Child Health and Development Population Research Infrastructure Program (grant number R24 HD-044964), all at the University of Pennsylvania.