NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Harsha Thirumurthy

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Working Papers

December 2010Health Shocks and Natural Resource Management: Evidence from Western Kenya
with Joshua Graff Zivin, Maria Damon: w16594
Poverty and altered planning horizons brought on by the HIV/AIDS epidemic can change individual discount rates, altering incentives to conserve natural resources. Using longitudinal data from household surveys in western Kenya, we estimate impacts of health status on labor productivity and discount rates. We find that household size and composition are predictors of whether the effect on productivity dominates the discount rate effect, or vice-versa. Since households with more and younger members are better able to reallocate labor to cope with productivity shocks, the discount rate impact dominates for these households and health improvements lead to greater levels of conservation. In smaller families with less substitutable labor, the productivity impact dominates and health improvem...
November 2006AIDS Treatment and Intrahousehold Resource Allocations: Children's Nutrition and Schooling in Kenya
with Joshua S. Graff Zivin, Markus Goldstein: w12689
The provision of life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment has emerged as a key component of the global response to HIV/AIDS, but very little is known about the impact of this intervention on the welfare of children in the 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 six months after treatment is initiated for the adult household member. For boys in treatment households, these increases closely follow their reduced market labor supply. Similarly, young children’s short-term nutritional status—as measured by their...
December 2005The Economic Impact of AIDS Treatment: Labor Supply in Western Kenya
with Joshua Graff-Zivin, Markus Goldstein: w11871
Using longitudinal survey data collected in collaboration with a treatment program, this paper is the first to estimate the economic impacts of antiretroviral treatment in Africa. The responses in two important outcomes are studied: (1) labor supply of adult AIDS patients receiving treatment; and (2) labor supply of children and adults living in the patients' households. We find that within six months after the initiation of treatment, there is a 20 percent increase in the likelihood of the patient participating in the labor force and a 35 percent increase in weekly hours worked. Since patient health would continue to decline without treatment, these labor supply responses are underestimates of the impact of treatment on the treated. The upper bound of the treatment impact, which is based ...

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