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The Relationship between Economic Growth and AIDS Prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Kuznets Curve Approach

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Susan Chilton, Dr Hugh Metcalf


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Any evidence on the relationship between AIDS and the economy is confined to the effect that AIDS has had on economic development. This paper takes a different perspective and explores the relationship that economic growth has on the degree of AIDS prevalence in a country. It tests the hypothesis that the relationship can be recast in a Kuznets Curve framework in that at some point, as economic growth increases, AIDS prevalence will fall, after an initial increase in the earlier stages of development. Empirically this is found to be true using data from 21 Sub-Sahara African countries. This relationship is potentially significant as it suggests the possibility that some countries can ‘grow out’ of the problem of AIDS. At the very least, it should alert governments to the possibility of using economic policies to directly affect the impacts of the disease in countries that are particularly severely affected.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Peake J, Chilton S, Metcalf H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Newcastle Discussion Papers in Economics

Year: 2006

Issue: 1

Pages: 1-24

Publisher: Newcastle University