Over the next century, the impact of the AIDS epidemic on the supply of and returns to factors of production may be significant. Public policies might offset some of the long run impacts, especially if initiated early in the epidemic. History suggests the types of economic effects that can occur in the long run and the limits of public policies' effectiveness in controlling diseases of this type. The models developed here to show possible long run time paths for the epidemic also imply a long-run equilibrium, a concept not appreciated in most disciplines. Because data defciencies make long run numerical forecasting highly controversial, this paper uses history and modeling to emphasize qualitative understanding of the epidemic. Copyright 1992 Western Economic Association International.
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