Working paper

Matching, cooperation and HIV in the couple

Jean-Paul Azam, and Elodie Djemaï


We examine how cooperation within the couple protects the partners from HIV infection using survey data from southern Africa. The respective impacts of education and cooperation on HIV risk for both wives and husbands are estimated in a joint estimation model. We fully discuss and test the conflictual approach of the couple against a cooperative framework derived from a simple matching model. Our findings suggest that the larger the number of decisions husbands and wives jointly make, the less likely it is that they are infected with HIV. This is robust to assuming that cooperation is endogenous in the wife equation. Freedom and trust are also significantly related to the likelihood of infection for both partners while the women's views about whether marital violence is acceptable are not. These effects may come from a reduced likelihood of extramarital affairs among men and women living in more cooperative partnerships.


Couples; Matching; HIV infection; Education; Africa;


Jean-Paul Azam, and Elodie Djemaï, Matching, cooperation and HIV in the couple, TSE Working Paper, n. 19-991, February 2019.

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TSE Working Paper, n. 19-991, February 2019