The Effect of Access to AIDS Treatment on Employment Outcomes in South Africa

Zoe McLaren, University of Michigan

The economic impact of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is of particular interest because AIDS is chronic and eventually fatal. In 2004, South Africa began providing ARV treatment and by 2008 was treating almost 500,000 patients across the country. There is strong evidence that ARVs dramatically improve the health of HIV positive individuals. One would expect that the resulting increase in productivity would lead to an increase in labor force participation, job search activity and employment. I examine the impact of AIDS treatment on labor force participation and employment. I combine seven waves of Labour Force Survey data with newly-available data from all public ARV treatment sites that opened between 2004 and 2007. I perform fixed effects estimation at the community level. Preliminary results suggest that individuals who live closer to ARV clinics and who have more enrolled patients nearby are more likely to be labor force participants. There are no discernible effects on employment.

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Presented in Poster Session 6