12:00—1:30 PM
Center for Global Development
2055 L St, NW
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Economic Stimulus from Public Health Programs: Externalities from Mass AIDS Treatment Provision in South Africa


Zoë M. McLaren, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County


Mead Over, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Center for Global Development


Public health programs such antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV are likely to have positive spillover benefits to community members beyond the targeted beneficiaries that could be many times larger than the direct benefits. Join CGD for a brownbag seminar to discuss Dr. Zoë McLaren’s recent study evaluating the direct and indirect impact of AIDS treatment on labor market outcomes in rural South Africa, using HIV test results to separately identify the impact by HIV status. The study estimates the impact of access to treatment using a rigorous statistical approach including machine learning methods. The work finds that the scale up of ART access led to employment increases not only among HIV-positive individuals, but also among HIV-negative individuals who had no HIV-positive household members. Investments in health-related human capital may therefore have important stimulus effects on local economies that should be considered alongside conventional economic policy.

Dr. Zoe McLaren is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was formerly an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Her research strengthens the data-evidence-policy pathway by using rigorous statistical approaches to build the evidence base to guide health and social policy in low-resource environments. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Michigan.

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