Discussion paper

DP17125 Medication Against Conflict

This paper investigates the consequences of the successful expansion of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic on social violence and conflict in Africa. Identification is based on exogenous variation in the scope for treatment and global variation in drug prices. We find that the ART expansion significantly reduced the number of violent events in African countries and sub-national regions. The effect is not explained by general improvements in economic prosperity, but related to health improvements, greater approval of government policy, and increased trust in political institutions. Counterfactual simulations illustrate the quantitative relevance of the results.


Berlanda, A, M Cervellati, E Esposito, D Rohner and U Sunde (2022), ‘DP17125 Medication Against Conflict‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 17125. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp17125