The ADaPT (AIDS, Demographic and Poverty Trends) project aims to:
- improve the understanding of the impact of deaths of working-age adults on household welfare, households' responses, and the determinants of differential vulnerability and resilience
- examine the effects of demographic change, including the AIDS epidemic, on poverty dynamics across the life course in South Africa
- assess the social policy interventions designed to mitigate the impact of the epidemic and their distributional implications across the life course
The project will analyse data from two large panel datasets from KwaZulu-Natal. While most demographic research treats socioeconomic status as an explanation of demographic phenomena that is unaffected by them, microeconomic analyses usually treat demographic change as a determinant of poverty, but not its consequence. The challenge to welfare posed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa highlights the limitations of both analytic traditions. The size and structure of households and their economic status are intertwined. Ways of measuring household poverty that allow for this will be developed. Building on these insights, the project will investigate whether adult deaths primarily affect household welfare by aggravating money poverty or in other ways. Finally, micro-simulation will be adopted to model the impact of different social benefits and services that might mitigate the impact of the AIDS epidemic.