Welfare Payments and the Spread of HIV in the United States
Rand W. Ressler
Melissa S. Waters
R. Carter Hill
John Keith Watson
Clarke and Strauss (1998), among others, have determined that the magnitude of financial transfers to unwed mothers is positively related to out-of-wedlock fertility rates. Increases in fertility rates must be accompanied by increases in unprotected sex, and unprotected sex allows for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. We hypothesize that states with relatively greater welfare payments under the old Aid to Families with Dependant Children (AFDC) program are associated with higher rates of heterosexually contracted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Using data for 26 reporting states from 1993 to 1996, our weighted instrumental variables estimates with clustered standard errors are consistent with our hypothesis. (JEL "D1", "I38") Copyright 2005 Western Economic Association International.
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