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The effects of education on cross-national disparities in AIDS death rates

Rebekah A. Burroway, Duke University

The AIDS epidemic does not affect everyone equally. As many as 150,000 people die in Africa every month because of AIDS, and more Africans die of AIDS-related illnesses than any other cause. The unequal distribution of AIDS deaths across the world suggests that macro, structural forces are at work. However, most social science literature on AIDS focuses on individual behaviors. This study employs a macro, structural approach to the study of AIDS by predicting differences in AIDS death rates at the country-level using cross-national, empirical data and lagged OLS panel models. Results indicate that secondary school enrolment has the largest and most consistent effect on the AIDS death rate compared to any of the other structural variables, and these effects are estimated net of prevalence. Furthermore, secondary school enrolment mediates the effects of GDP, suggesting that education may be a more salient proximate cause of reduction in AIDS deaths.

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Presented in Poster Session 2