The Impact of AIDS Treatment on Savings and Human Capital Investment in Malawi

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Victoria Baranov
Paper Abstract
Antiretroviral therapy (ART), a treatment for AIDS, is rapidly increasing life expectancy throughout Africa. A longer life expectancy increases the value of human capital investment, though the effect on savings is theoretically ambiguous. This paper uses spatial and temporal variation in ART availability to evaluate the impact of ART provision on savings and investment. We find that ART availability significantly increases savings, expenditures on children, and children's schooling, particularly among HIV-negative individuals. These results are not driven by the direct health effects of treatment or reductions in caretaking responsibilities, but rather by improving perceptions of self-reported mortality risk.