AIDS Treatment and Intrahousehold Resource Allocations: Children’s Nutrition and Schooling in Kenya

Markus Goldstein, World Bank Group
Joshua Graff Zivin, Columbia University
Harsha Thirumurthy, Center for Global Development and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The provision of life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is a key component of the global response to HIV/AIDS, but little is known about the impact of this intervention on the welfare of children in households of treated persons. We estimate the impact of ARV treatment on children’s schooling and nutrition outcomes using longitudinal household survey data collected in collaboration with a treatment program in western Kenya. We find that children’s weekly hours of school attendance increase by over 20 percent within about six months after treatment is initiated for the adult household member. For boys in treatment households, these increases are closely related to decreases in their market labor supply. Similarly, young children’s short-term nutritional status—as measured by their weight-for-height Z-score—also improves dramatically. Since the improvements in children’s schooling and nutrition will affect their socio-economic outcomes in adulthood, the provision of ARV treatment is likely to generate significant long-run macroeconomic benefits.

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Presented in Session 38: Economic Factors and Child Development I