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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Is AIDS a rational disease? Some evidence from household data
Author:Gritzman, SteffanISNI
Year:2005
Periodical:South African Journal of Economics
Volume:73
Issue:1
Pages:149-169
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:AIDS
economic behaviour
household budget
External link:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1813-6982.2005.00011.x/pdf
Abstract:This paper argues that in addition to the biological link between nutrition and HIV infection, there is a behavioural link between poverty and HIV infection. It first discusses some standard models of the spread of HIV, such as the 'actuarial' model and the 'psychological' model. It then introduces an 'economic' model which is based on the assumption that people are rational utility-maximizers and discusses the appropriateness of applying an economic model to the spread of a disease. Available evidence indicates that individuals respond rationally to social and economic stimuli when it comes to taking risks. The paper shows how viewing AIDS as a rational disease enriches the understanding of the behavioural underpinnings of the spread of HIV. The paper uses panel data gathered by the Centre for Health Systems Research and Development at the University of the Free State (South Africa). The data was collected among households from rural (Qwa-Qwa) and urban (Welkom) areas of the Free State Province. Income and other socioeconomic variables are compared between affected and unaffected households. A definite pattern emerges: households with improved socioeconomic conditions are less likely to be affected by HIV. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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