NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya

Pascaline Dupas

NBER Working Paper No. 14707
Issued in February 2009
NBER Program(s):   CH

I use a randomized experiment to test whether information can change sexual behavior among teenagers in Kenya. Providing information on the relative risk of HIV infection by partner's age led to a 28% decrease in teen pregnancy, an objective proxy for the incidence of unprotected sex. Self-reported sexual behavior data suggests substitution away from older (riskier) partners and towards protected sex with same-age partners. In contrast, the national abstinence-only HIV education curriculum had no impact on teen pregnancy. These results suggest that teenagers are responsive to risk information but their sexual behavior is more elastic on the intensive than on the extensive margin.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14707

Published: Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-34, January.

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