I study how history can affect human capital accumulation and other important inputs into long-run economic development. I focus primarily on infectious diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
Colonial Institutions, Marriage Markets, and HIV: Evidence from Mozambique (job market paper)
- Abstract: This paper links Africa’s history to its HIV epidemic through colonial institutions’ lasting effects on marriage markets. I exploit the arbitrary border within Mozambique between two regimes common across the continent: one that pushed over 50,000 young men annually into temporary labor migration (1897-1965) and another that conscripted them into forced labor (1891-1942). Historians contend the migrant-sending institution fundamentally altered marriage markets in that region. Using colonial census data, I show that young men there married earlier and were closer in age to their wives, even after the forced labor institution ended and migration rates had converged. Because smaller age disparities reduce HIV risk, I examine seroprevalence today and find it is nearly 50 percent (10 p.p.) lower in the former migrant-sending region. The data suggest that persistently smaller age disparities and reductions in behaviors associated with them are the main channel for this effect.
Health, Income, and Public Spending in a Developing Economy: Evidence from Brazil's Eradication of Chagas Disease (with Eduardo Montero)
Work in Progress
Neglected Tropical Diseases Can Worsen HIV Epidemics: Evidence from Schistosomiasis Control in Southern Africa
Pre-Colonial Medical Practices and the Success of Vaccination Campaigns: Evidence from the Smallpox Eradication Program (with Eduardo Montero)
Blood Taxes: The Development Effects of Colonial Conscription in French West Africa (with James Allen IV)
Neglected Tropical Diseases and Agricultural Development: Evidence from Nigeria's Eradication of Guinea Worm
The Promises and Pitfalls of Using DHS Data for Comparisons across Countries and National Borders