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American Economic Review: Vol. 98 No. 5 (December 2008)

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The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status

Article Citation

Thornton, Rebecca L. 2008. "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status." American Economic Review, 98(5): 1829-63.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.1829

Abstract

This paper evaluates an experiment in which individuals in rural Malawi were randomly assigned monetary incentives to learn their HIV results after being tested. Distance to the HIV results centers was also randomly assigned. Without any incentive, 34 percent of the participants learned their HIV results. However, even the smallest incentive doubled that share. Using the randomly assigned incentives and distance from results centers as instruments for the knowledge of HIV status, sexually active HIV-positive individuals who learned their results are three times more likely to purchase condoms two months later than sexually active HIV-positive individuals who did not learn their results; however, HIV-positive individuals who learned their results purchase only two additional condoms than those who did not. There is no significant effect of learning HIV-negative status on the purchase of condoms. (JEL I12, O15)

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Authors

Thornton, Rebecca L. (U MI)

JEL Classifications

I12: Health Production
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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