Do better-designed macroeconomic policies—more attuned to the needs of the poor—hold a key to more effective poverty reduction? If so, much will depend on better data and more detailed analysis of what works and why. The IMF’s Research Department convened the Conference on Macroeconomic Policies and Poverty Reduction, on March 14—15, to spotlight new findings. The gathering, which follows through on an April 2001 forum, provided a platform for debate on the impact of economic reforms and financial crises on the poor, the effectiveness of social safety nets and aid, and the question ofwhat to do about the debts of illegitimate governments.
The paper evaluates the impact of HIV/AIDS on welfare in several countries affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Unlike studies focusing on the impact of HIV/AIDS on GDP per capita, we evaluate the impact of increased mortality using estimates of the value of statistical life. Our results illustrate the catastrophic impact of HIV/AIDS in the worst-affected countries and suggest that studies focusing on GDP and income per capita capture only a very small proportion of the welfare impact of HIV/AIDS.