HIV Prevalence, Investment in Education and Fertility Trajectories

Laurie DeRose, University of Maryland

While it is commonly believed that the HIV/AIDS epidemic will contribute to fertility decline in Sub-Saharan Africa, adult mortality reduces the utility of investing in education and could thereby stimulate fertility. Fertility decline has slowed and even reversed in some countries on the continent despite lower fertility among HIV-infected women. My previous work using Kenyan data showed that with individual sero-status controlled, higher community HIV prevalence rates predicted higher fertility. Data from Lesotho and Tanzania are used in the current paper to test whether the fertility-enhancing effect of community HIV rates pertain in countries that have not experienced recent fertility increase. I also explore whether community HIV prevalence contributes to lower investments in education and hence higher fertility. Validity of findings from random effects models are tested by making assumptions that allow for inclusion of fixed effects.

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Presented in Session 165: Explaining Fertility Patterns in International Contexts