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PublicationThe Behavioral Economics of Altruism, Reciprocity, and Transfers within Families and Rural Communities: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa(2007-02-01) Chao, Li-wei; Kohler, Hans-Peter; Chao, Li-wei; Kohler, Hans-PeterTransfers between strangers, neighbors, families, and spouses were examined using Triple Dictator Games (TDG, involving only givings) and Trust Games (TG, involving both givings and reciprocations) among 240 participants from 60 families in 20 villages in rural Malawi. In TDG, more was sent by those who were older, male, in better physical health, financially poorer, or frequent lenders of personal items, but less was sent to neighbors by participants with higher HIV felt stigma. In TG, higher transfers were associated with the expected amount of reciprocation, amount sent in TDG, and prior lending behavior; participants with high HIV stigmatization attitudes gave less, especially to their own families and spouses. Higher reciprocation in TG was associated with better mental health. Those with HIV stigmatization attitudes reciprocated differently, depending on whether their game-partner was the neighbor, family, or spouse. Social distance, physical and mental health, and HIV-stigma were predictors of transfers behavior. PublicationHow Health Affects Small Business in South Africa(2007-03-30) Chao, Li-wei; Pauly, Mark V; Chao, Li-wei; Pauly, Mark VPreventable and treatable diseases have taken a devastating human and economic toll on many developing countries. That economic toll is likely to be underestimated because most studies focus on productivity losses in the formal, or largefirm, sector; yet, a large portion of the population of developing countries works in the informal sector in very small businesses, either as an owner-worker or as an employee. It is plausible that ill health might affect small businesses most severely, possibly putting the entire business at risk. This Issue Brief summarizes a three-year study that tracks small businesses in Durban, South Africa, and investigates the connection between the owner’s health and business growth, survival, or closure. The results bolster the economic case for investing resources in the prevention and treatment of disease in developing countries. PublicationTime Preference and Its Relationship with Age, Health, and Longevity Expectations(2007-01-01) Chao, Li-wei; Chao, Li-wei; Pauly, Mark V; Pereira, Nuno Sousa; Pauly, Mark VAlthough theories in both evolutionary biology and economics predict that an individual’s health should be associated with the individual’s time preference, no prior study has been done to empirically support or refute such predictions. By collecting detailed measures of health, time preference, and expected longevity on a sample of individuals in townships around Durban, South Africa, this study breaks new ground by being the first to analyze in detail the relationship between time preference and health, in an area of the world with high mortality and morbidity. Interestingly, we find that both physical health and expectations of longevity have a U-shaped relationship with the person’s subjective discount rate. This suggests that those in very poor health have high discount rates, but those in very good health also have high discount rates. Similarly those with longevity expectations on the extremes have high discount rates. The research question addressed by this pilot project is policy relevant, as the study tries to determine the importance of health in economic development, not from the commonly asserted productivity-gain argument, but from a much broader investment-for-the-future argument.