Education, HIV, and Early Fertility: Experimental Evidence from Kenya

Am Econ Rev. 2015 Sep;105(9):2757-97. doi: 10.1257/aer.20121607.


A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls' dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government's HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. These results are inconsistent with a model of schooling and sexual behavior in which both pregnancy and STI are determined by one factor (unprotected sex), but consistent with a two-factor model in which choices between committed and casual relationships also affect these outcomes.

Keywords: Sexually Transmitted Infections; information; prevention; sexual behavior; subsidies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Clothing / economics
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Education / economics*
  • Educational Status
  • Extramarital Relations
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Herpes Genitalis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • Marital Status*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Sex Education / economics*
  • Sexual Abstinence
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Unsafe Sex
  • Young Adult