The AIDS Epidemic, Family Structure and Economic Development: The Role of Reproductive Health and Family Planning Policies

Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis, Washington University in St. Louis

How much would the development path of Malawi change in terms of income per capita and years to transit from agriculture to industry, if we implemented integrated Reproductive Health/Family Planning (RH/FP) policies and AIDS-related policies? In order to answer this question I construct a theoretical framework that relies on heterogeneous agents economies whose individual behavior I consistently aggregate to provide macroeconomic outcomes. The largest donor to fight AIDS is the U.S., which provides about 45% of all AIDS-related funds. The U.S. Congress, however, specifies that President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief must allocate 70% of its funds to treatment (mostly antiretrovirals). This leaves very little funding for RH/FP policies mainly focused on prevention. Here, I provide evidence that suggests a major quantitative economic role for RH/FP policies and argue for a reallocation of new AIDS-related funds toward increasing the number of integrated RH/FP and AIDS policies.

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Presented in Session 105: Blending Macro and Micro Measures of Fertility Impacts on Economic Outcomes