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Risk and Rationality: Effects of contextual risk and cognitive dissonance on (sexual) incentives
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Paper [I] theoretically analyzes how the level and uncertainty of future prospects affect incentives to abstain from sexual risk taking in the presence of HIV. The results suggest that, for individuals with limited access to HIV treatment, uncertainty of future health may be an important factor driving unsafe sex practices and support the empirical finding of a weak link between sexual behavior, HIV prevalence, and HIV knowledge in poor countries; therefore suggesting that AIDS policy needs to be calibrated in order to fit within different social contexts.

Paper [II] empirically tests the link between uncertainty of future prospects and sexual risk taking in a group of young adults in Cape Town, South Africa. The findings indicate that expected income and health and future uncertainty are significant determinants of current patterns of sexual risk taking. However, the empirical results only provide limited support to a link between expected health and sexual risk taking.

Paper [III] theoretically analyzes effects of affect and defensive denial on incentives to engage in sexual risk taking related to HIV. The results of the theoretical analysis suggest that the effect of rationalization of personal risk depends on the risk of being HIV positive. Although rationalization causes excessive risk taking behavior for individuals with a relatively low lifetime risk, it may prevent fatalism among individuals whose lifetime risk of HIV is perceived as overwhelming.

Paper [IV] theoretically analyzes the role of identity conflict for the evolution of female labor supply over time. The results suggest the fear of becoming an outsider in society may have prevented a complete transition of women from housewives to breadwinners. In addition, our analysis shows that not recognizing that the weights attached to different social identities are endogenous may imply that the long-run effects on labor supply of a higher wage may be underestimated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för nationalekonomi , 2010. , 46 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 0348-1018 ; 806
Keyword [en]
HIV/AIDS, Health risk, Uncertainty, Risk aversion, Self-Control, Time-inconsistency, Cognitive dissonance, Regret, Norms, Social identity
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-34116ISBN: 978-91-7459-028-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-34116DiVA: diva2:318938
Public defence
2010-06-11, Hörsal C, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-05-14 Created: 2010-05-11 Last updated: 2010-05-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Risky sex in a Risky World: Sexual Behavior in a HIV/AIDS Environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risky sex in a Risky World: Sexual Behavior in a HIV/AIDS Environment
2012 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, ISSN 0347-0520, E-ISSN 1467-9442, Vol. 114, no 2, 296-322 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In spite of increased awareness of HIV/AIDS, unprotected casual sex is still widespread in many HIV infected countries. In this paper, a two-period model for sexual decisions under uncertainty is developed. The results suggest that, for individuals with limited access to HIV treatment, uncertainty of future health may be an important factor driving unsafe sex practices. The results support the empirical finding of a weak link between sexual behavior, HIV frequency, and HIV knowledge in poor countries; therefore suggesting that AIDS policy needs to be calibrated in order to fit within different social contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2012
Keyword
Uncertainty, risk aversion, health risk
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-34111 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9442.2011.01684.x (DOI)000304089400002 ()
Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-05-11 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Sexual risk taking among young adults in Cape Town: Effects of expected health and income
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sexual risk taking among young adults in Cape Town: Effects of expected health and income
2010 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In spite of increased awareness of HIV/AIDS, unprotected casual sex is still widespread in many HIV infected countries. In this paper, a two-period model for sexual decisions under uncertainty is developed. The results suggest that, for individuals with limited access to HIV treatment, uncertainty of future health may be an important factor driving unsafe sex practices. The results support the empirical finding of a weak link between sexual behavior, HIV frequency, and HIV knowledge in poor countries; therefore suggesting that AIDS policy needs to be calibrated in order to fit within different social contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för nationalekonomi, Umeå universitet, 2010. 39 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 0348-1018 ; 804
Keyword
HIV/AIDS, Health risk, Risk aversion
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-34112 (URN)
Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-05-11 Last updated: 2010-05-17Bibliographically approved
3. Risk and rationalization: The role of affect and cognitive dissonance for sexual risk taking
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk and rationalization: The role of affect and cognitive dissonance for sexual risk taking
2012 (English)In: European Economic Review, ISSN 0014-2921, E-ISSN 1873-572X, Vol. 56, no 6, 38 p.1325-1337 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyzes the mechanisms underlying excessive sexual risk taking in the presence of HIV. Drawing ideas from psychology on decision-making processes and risk evaluation, a theoretical model interacting affect-induced myopia and cognitive dissonance is developed and analyzed. The results of the theoretical analysis suggest that the effect of rationalization of personal risk depends on the risk of being HIV positive. Although rationalization causes excessive risk taking behavior for individuals with a relatively low lifetime risk, it may prevent fatalism among individuals whose lifetime risk of HIV is perceived as overwhelming.

Publisher
38 p.
Keyword
HIV/AIDS, Self-control, Time inconsistency, Dissonance theory, Regret
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-34113 (URN)10.1016/j.euroecorev.2012.06.005 (DOI)000307609800021 ()
Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-05-11 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Conflicting identities and social pressure: Effects on the long-run evolution of female labor supply
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conflicting identities and social pressure: Effects on the long-run evolution of female labor supply
2010 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the last half-century female employment rates have increased significantly in many countries. This change has partly been attributed to a change in gender norms. The purpose of this paper is to present a dynamic model within which the evolution of female labor supply can be analyzed. Drawing on psychological literature, we let individuals define themselves in terms of different social identities, each of which prescribes a certain type of behavior. These prescriptions may imply conflicting incentives which provide agents with a motive to continuously revise the importance they attach to a given identity. Applying this approach within the context of a dynamic model of labor supply, we are able to make some novel predictions about what may cause labor supply to change over time. Our results suggest that the fear of becoming an outsider in society may have prevented a complete transition of women from housewives to breadwinners. In addition, we show that the discrepancy between personal and social norms may have interesting implications for labor supply: an increase in the hours of work prescribed by a working norm need not necessarily lead to more hours of work. Finally, our analysis shows that not recognizing that the weights attached to different social identities are endogenous may imply that the long-run effects on labor supply of a higher wage may be underestimated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för nationalekonomi, umeå universitet, 2010. 42 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 0348-1018 ; 805
Keyword
Female Labor Supply, Social Norms
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-34114 (URN)
Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-05-11 Last updated: 2010-05-17Bibliographically approved

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