Research Projects by Region

How Health Improvements Affect Economic Activity

Weil’s recent research focuses on how changes in health and fertility affect economic growth in the setting of developing countries. Regarding health, he has examined how improvements in overall health, as proxied by life expectancy, as well as control of specific diseases (malaria and tuberculosis) feeds through channels such as worker productivity, human capital accumulation, and population age structure to effect the level of income per capita.

Human Trafficking Intervention and Migration Management in Nigeria

This project, which seeks to identify connections between human trafficking and migration, is part of Smith’s collection of work studying the effects of migration on the sexual behavior of young rural-urban migrants in Nigeria. Working with his doctoral student, this project will be conducted over 12 months in Nigeria, using the ethnographic methods of participant observation, self-reporting, and formal and informal interviews.

Life Projects and Antiretroviral Therapy: The Social Impacts of Scale-up

This is a planning grant in which Smith follows up on work that chronicles the transition toward modern marriage in Nigeria and finds that the associated ideals of morality make the discussion of, and thus protection against, risky sexual behavior more difficult than may have been the case in the past.

Pentecostalism and AIDS in Nigeria

Smith examines the response of Nigerian Pentecostal churches to the AIDS epidemic, focusing on the intersection between religion and health and offering deeper understandings of the popularity, meanings, and wider societal effects of the fastest-growing religion in Africa's most populous nation.

The Cultural Context of Infertility in Southern Nigeria: Meanings, Consequences and Coping Mechanisms

Hollos examines the well-being and social relations of sub-fertile or infertile women in Nigeria.  Two communities are compared: one that is strictly patrilineal versus one that has a mix of patri- and matrilineal practices.  While both sets of women face challenges and are, for example, more likely to be divorced from their first husband than their fertile counterparts, the women in the mixed village have better sources of support. Sub-fertile or infertile women in the patrilineal villages are more likely to migrate, shift occupations, and accumulate wealth.