Principal Investigator

To uncover the motivations underlying transfers by examining transfers patterns derived from experimental economics games combined with data derived from survey and qualitative interviews


HIV-related stigma has been touted as a barrier to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. While various survey instruments and stigma scales have been developed to measure HIV-related stigma in the general population and among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), there is no consensus among researchers as to how best to measure stigma or how stigma translates to actual financial discrimination. Also, attitudes expressed in surveys may not represent real behavior. Moreover, even if real behavior is observed, such as that someone exhibited “stigmatizing behavior” towards PLWHA, it is unclear whether this same perpetrator would interact differently with other people without HIV. This pilot study breaks new grounds by using experimental economics games combined with detailed surveys to measure whether people with and without HIV treat each other differently when money is at stake. In this study, we (i) conduct trust, dictator, and ultimatum games (well-known games in the experimental economics field) between persons with and without HIV to examine whether trust, altruism, egalitarian motives, and stigma as revealed in these games differ by HIV status of the participants, and (ii) compare the results from the behavioral economics games with the post-game surveys to construct better measures of HIV-related stigma and to quantify stigma in monetary terms.

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