Awareness and Aids: A Political Economy Perspective

34 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2012

See all articles by Gani Aldashev

Gani Aldashev

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES); University of Namur

Jean-Marie Baland

Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP)

Date Written: March 2012

Abstract

Across African countries, prevention policies are unrelated to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and, even in countries in which they were successful, these policies are often unstable or reversed. To explain these two puzzles, we propose a simple political economy model that examines how prevention policies and the epidemic dynamics are jointly determined. Prevention campaigns affect both citizens' behavior and their perception of the role of public policies in fighting AIDS. The behavioral changes induced by the policy, in turn, reduce the risk of infection for sexually active agents, and this creates political support for future policies. The two-way relationship between prevention policy and awareness generates two stable steady-state equilibria: high awareness/slow prevalence and low awareness/high prevalence. The low-prevalence equilibrium is fragile: the economy can easily drift away towards the high-prevalence equilibrium. Reduced transmission rates have an ambiguous impact on prevalence rates as they also imply less active prevention policies. We then conduct an empirical analysis of the determinants of public support for HIV/AIDS policies using the 2005 Afrobaremeter data. High prevalence rates translate into public support for prevention policies only in countries which carried out active prevention campaigns in the past. The proposed framework extends naturally to a large class of public health policies under which awareness partly follows from the policies themselves.

Keywords: awareness, HIV/AIDS, public health, voting

JEL Classification: H51, I18

Suggested Citation

Aldashev, Gani and Aldashev, Gani and Baland, Jean-Marie, Awareness and Aids: A Political Economy Perspective (March 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2034126

Gani Aldashev (Contact Author)

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

University of Namur ( email )

8 rempart de la vierge
Namur, 5000
Belgium

Jean-Marie Baland

Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix (FUNDP) ( email )

8 Rempart de la Vierge
B-5000 Namur
Belgium

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
4
Abstract Views
548
PlumX Metrics