The Effect of HIV/AIDS on Fertility via Children’s School Enrollments

Laurie DeRose, University of Maryland

Much of the existing literature controls out one of the possible pathways through which community HIV prevalence can affect fertility, namely reducing investments in education. Returns to schooling have become highly uncertain because of increased mortality in the prime productive years. Community HIV prevalence is a strong determinant of uncertainty in returns to schooling. Work that controls for education in order to establish the effect of HIV prevalence on fertility independently of education misestimates the total effect of HIV on fertility because poor educational trajectories—i.e., slower expansion of education and even declining enrollments—are at least in part caused by the epidemic. I estimate the effect of community HIV prevalence on fertility via its effect on school enrollments employing multilevel random effects models using Demographic and Health Survey data from 20 sub-Saharan African countries.

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Presented in Poster Session 6