A Cross-Country Analysis of Household Responses to Adult Mortality in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications For HIV/AIDS Mitigation And Rural Development Policies
IDWP 82. David Mather, Cynthia Donovan, T.S. Jayne, Michael Weber, Anthony Chapoto, Edward Mazhangara, Linda Bailey, Kyeongwon Yoo, Takashi Yamano, and Elliot Mghenyi. 2004. 67 pp. A Cross-Country Analysis of Household Responses to Adult Mortality in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications For HIV/AIDS Mitigation And Rural Development Policies.
A general assumption in some of the literature and in popular discussion is that AIDS-related
mortality results in severe labor constraints and increased poverty rates and land scarcity
among affected households. The subsequent implication of these assumptions is that
HIV/AIDS mitigation policy should prioritize technology and assistance targeted to affected
households: agricultural labor-saving technologies and food aid. Yet there is surprisingly
little empirical research to date which can confirm whether this scenario is generally
representative of affected households, and how behavior and welfare of affected households
compare with that of the non-affected household population. Thus, it is not clear that these
suggested mitigation policies are appropriate for a majority of affected households and more
feasible or desirable relative to alternative investments. In particular, it is important to seek
empirical information to establish the potential for effective food aid targeting in areas of
high HIV incidence, while also minimizing negative overall rural income and productivity
This paper summarizes and synthesizes across the results of a set of country studies on the
effects of prime-age adult mortality on rural households in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique,
Rwanda, and Zambia. Each study is based on large representative rural household surveys.
These findings have implications for the design of efforts to mitigate some of the most
important effects of rural adult mortality, and for key development policies and priorities.