Peer effects in learning HIV results

Susan Godlonton, Rebecca Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

How do neighbors positively or negatively influence individuals living in rural Malawi to learn their HIV results? Using data of location of homes and distance to neighbors, we measure the social network effects of neighbors' learning their HIV results on individuals own learning. Using the fact that neighbors were randomly offered monetary incentives of varying amounts to learn their HIV results, we find positive effects of neighbors attending clinics on others living nearby: a 10 percentage point increase of the percentage of neighbors (approximately 2.4 individuals) learning their HIV results increases the probability of learning HIV results by 1.1 percentage points. The strongest network effects are among closest neighbors; we find no effect among religious social networks. We also find a negative interaction between direct cash incentives and peers: the effect of peers doubles among those who were not offered any individual financial incentive to learn their HIV results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Volume97
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Africa
  • HIV prevention
  • Incentives
  • Peer effects
  • Randomized evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

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