Matching Platforms and HIV Incidence: An Empirical Investigation of Race, Gender, and Socio-Economic Status

45 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2015 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016

See all articles by Brad N. Greenwood

Brad N. Greenwood

George Mason University - School of Business

Ritu Agarwal

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Date Written: July 22, 2015

Abstract

Although recent work has examined the adverse implications of Internet-enabled matching platforms, limited attention has been paid to whom the negative externalities accrue. We examine how the entry of platforms for the solicitation of casual sex influences the incidence rate of HIV by race, gender, and socio-economic status. Using a census of 12 million patients subjected to a natural experiment in Florida, we find a significant increase in HIV incidence after platform implementation, with the largest effect accruing to historically at risk populations (i.e. African-Americans) despite documented lower rates of Internet utilization. Strikingly, our analysis reveals that HIV incidence increases in historically low risk populations as well (e.g. individuals of higher socio-economic status), and that men and women experience similar penalties. Identifying granular effects across subpopulations allows us to offer additional insight into the mechanisms by which matching platforms increase HIV incidence. We estimate the cumulative effect of platform entry over the five year period of the study as 1,149 additional Floridians contracting HIV at a cost of $710 million.

Keywords: public health, two sided matching, platforms, natural experiment, HIV, digital divide

Suggested Citation

Greenwood, Brad and Agarwal, Ritu, Matching Platforms and HIV Incidence: An Empirical Investigation of Race, Gender, and Socio-Economic Status (July 22, 2015). Management Science, Forthcoming, Robert H. Smith School Research Paper No. RHS 2634667, Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 15-069, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2634667

Brad Greenwood (Contact Author)

George Mason University - School of Business ( email )

VA 22030
United States

Ritu Agarwal

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

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