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Surviving the Epidemic: Families and Well-Being, Malawi 1998—2013
February 9, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Dr. Hans-Peter Kohler, Frederick J. Warren Professor of Demography, University of Pennsylvania
Across Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), a remarkable cohort is reaching middle and older ages: those who have survived the AIDS epidemic. Nobody could escape an epidemic that was devastating for both its health and social implications. Were the survivors of this cohort just lucky? Or did they systematically differ in critical characteristics? What promoted survival and resilience in such a terrible context, and what influenced well-being among the survivors and their families? And for all of these questions, did the epidemic cause persistent divergences in families’ well-being because misery reinforced itself? These and related questions about “Surviving the Epidemic” (STE) are being studied by exploiting an unusually rich data source: the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) cohort, 1998—2013.
Hans-Peter Kohler, Ph.D., is a social and economic demographer whose current research focuses on health, demography and social change in developing and developed countries. A key characteristic of his research is the attempt to integrate demographic, economic, sociological and biological approaches in empirical and theoretical models of health and demographic behaviors. In his prior work, he investigated the role of social and sexual networks for HIV risk perceptions and HIV infection risks, the causal effects of education on health, the consequences of learning one’s HIV status on risky behaviors, the interrelations between marriage and sexual relations in developing countries, the role of social interaction processes for fertility and AIDS-related behaviors, and the determinants and consequences of low fertility in developed countries. His research combines extensive knowledge about the determinants of health, fertility/mortality, HIV/AIDS, and related economic behaviors in developing and developed countries with considerable experience in sophisticated econometric and demographic analyses, including analyses with controls for endowment and unobserved determinants of individuals’ behaviors, models of population and disease dynamics, randomized designs and integration of social science and biomedical research methods. He has extensive experience in the design and implementation of large-scale data collection in sub-Saharan contexts. He has been awarded the Clifford C. Clogg Award for Early Career Achievement by the Population Association of America for my interdisciplinary work on fertility and health, and have been honored with Otis Dudley Duncan Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Social Demography by the American Sociological Association. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Norwegian Academy of Science, served as the president of the Society of Biodemography and Social Biology, and was engaged as lead-paper author in the Copenhagen Consensus Project to evaluate policies to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV (2011, with Behrman), reduce population growth (2012), and the post-2015 UN Development Goals in the area of Population and Demography. He served as the Chair of Penn’s Ph.D. Program in Demography NICHD T32 Training Program for several years, and has been the PI of the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) since 2007.