Volume 24 - Article 27 | Pages 671–708  

HIV/AIDS and time allocation in rural Malawi

By Simona Bignami-Van Assche, Ari Van Assche, Phil Anglewicz, Peter Fleming, Catherine van de Ruit


AIDS morbidity and mortality are expected to have a large impact on households’ labor supply in rural Malawi since they reduce the time that adults can spend on production for subsistence and on income generating activities. However, the data demands for estimating this impact are high, limiting the amount of empirical evidence. In this paper, we utilize a unique combination of quantitative and qualitative data, including biomarkers for HIV, collected by the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project, to analyze the impact of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality on time allocation decisions for rural Malawians. We evaluate both the direct effect of HIV/AIDS on the time allocation of affected individuals as well as its indirect effect on the time allocation of surviving household members. We find that the latter is the most important effect of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality, especially on women’s time. Specifically, AIDS induces diversification of income sources, with women reallocating their time from work-intensive (typically farming and heavy chores) to cash-generating tasks (such as casual labor).

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Shocks and migration in Malawi
Volume 38 - Article 14

Intergenerational Transfers in the Era of HIV/AIDS: Evidence from Rural Malawi
Volume 27 - Article 27

The Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project 2004-06: Data collection, data quality, and analysis of attrition
Volume 20 - Article 21

Overestimating HIV infection:: The construction and accuracy of subjective probabilities of HIV infection in rural Malawi
Volume 20 - Article 6

Hotspots and Coldspots: Household and village-level variation in orphanhood prevalence in rural Malawi
Volume 19 - Article 32

Are we measuring what we want to measure?: An analysis of individual consistency in survey response in rural Malawi
Special Collection 1 - Article 3

An Assessment of the KDICP and MDICP Data Quality: Interviewer Effects, Question Reliability and Sample Attrition
Special Collection 1 - Article 2

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

A probabilistic model for analyzing summary birth history data
Volume 47 - Article 11    | Keywords: Bayesian hierarchical model, Brass method, Malawi, spatial smoothing, temporal smoothing

To what extent were life expectancy gains in South Africa attributable to declines in HIV/AIDS mortality from 2006 to 2017? A life table analysis of age-specific mortality
Volume 46 - Article 18    | Keywords: antiretroviral therapy, HIV/AIDS, life expectancy, South Africa

Women’s health decline following (some) unintended births: A prospective study
Volume 45 - Article 17    | Keywords: fertility, Malawi, panel studies, unintended fertility, women's health

Marital dissolutions and changes in mental health: Evidence from rural Malawi
Volume 44 - Article 41    | Keywords: divorce, Malawi, marriage, mental health, widowhood

Knowledge, risk perceptions, and behaviors related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malawi
Volume 44 - Article 20    | Keywords: adult health, behavioral change, COVID-19, Malawi, risk perception, rural/urban differentials, survey data