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Dow, William H. & Philipson, Tomas J. (1996). An Empirical Examination of the Implications of Assortative Matching on the Incidence of HIV. Journal of Health Economics, 15(6), 735-749.


Using data from The San Francisco Home Health Study (SFHHS), this paper analyzes the degree to which the incentives to avoid HIV infection result in infection-dependent (assortative) matching patterns based on HIV status. The incidence implications induced by such matching are compared to infection independent matching, an implicit assumption in canonical models within epidemiology. We estimate that an HIV-positive individual is more than twice as likely as an HIV-negative individual to have an HIV-positive partner, and that this results in a decrease in HIV incidence of about one-third compared to the predictions implied by standard epidemiological models.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Health Economics


Dow, William H.
Philipson, Tomas J.