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Sex and the Mission: The Conflicting Effects of Early Christian Investments on the HIV Epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa

Cag�, Julia and Valeria Rueda ()
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Julia Cagé ()

No 12192, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This article investigates the long-term historical impact of missionary activity on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. On the one hand, missionaries were the first to invest in modern medicine in a number of countries. On the other hand, the Christian influence on norms may have affected sexual beliefs and behaviors. We built a new geocoded dataset locating Protestant and Catholic missions in the early 20th century, as well as their health investments. We show that missionary presence has conflicting effects on HIV today. Regions close to historical mission stations exhibit higher HIV prevalence. This higher prevalence is robust to multiple specifications accounting for urbanization. Less knowledge about condom use is a likely channel. Moreover, among regions historically close to missionary settlements, proximity to a mission with a health investment is associated with lower HIV prevalence. Safer sexual behaviors around missions with health investments are a possible explanatory channel.

Keywords: health investments; historical persistence; HIV/AIDS; missions; sexual behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 N37 N77 O33 Z12 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-evo, nep-hea and nep-his
Date: 2017-07
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Related works:
Working Paper: Sex and the Mission: The Conflicting Effects of Early Christian Investments on the HIV Epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Sex and the Mission: The Conflicting Effects of Early Christian Investments on the HIV Epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Sex and the Mission: The Conflicting Effects of Early Christian Investments on the HIV Epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa (2017) Downloads
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