The World Bank presents the Philip Musgrove Memorial Lecture
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, The World Bank
Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Research Manager, Development Research Group, The World Bank and Member, Philip Musgrove Memorial Steering Committee
Despite tremendous medical progress, the struggle to control the AIDS epidemic is not yet won. Biomedical marvels notwithstanding, individual behavior is arguably the most important determinant of HIV infection and treatment success. Risk behaviors are motivated by profound biological drivers, but evidence shows that they are also partly under an individual’s control and thus responsive to incentives. And treatment adherence is greater for people who receive travel vouchers. These findings suggest an important and underutilized tool to control the epidemic: the selection and deployment of carefully designed and calibrated incentives. But some hold that sexual behavior and treatment adherence are insufficiently responsive to incentives, while others fear that incentives would have unintended perverse consequences. The lecture will use the lens of behavioral economics to argue that public support of innovative incentives, including for example commitment mechanisms, may represent the best hope for eventually eliminating this epidemic from the list of threats that face our children and our children’s’ children.
Philip Anthony Musgrove (September 4, 1940- March 21, 2011) was a U.S. economist whose analytical work helped shape approaches to global health and development policy and investments. His work focused on issues in health economics, including priority setting, financing, equity, and nutrition. Musgrove worked at the Pan American Health Organization, World Bank and the World Health Organization and provided policy advice to other development institutions and a wide range of countries. He was deeply involved in Latin America, where he worked in many countries, lectured in several universities, and mentored a generation of health economists from Latin America.