Lecture Series

2013 Event Participants

2014 Event Details

When: Monday, April 28, 2014
Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Location: The World Bank – James D. Wolfensohn Atrium
Entrance: 700 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC


Timothy G. Evans— Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, The World Bank
Adam Wagstaff— Research Manager, Development Research Group, The World Bank and Member, Philip Musgrove Memorial Steering Committee


Mead Over, PhD— Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development


Effective Incentives for HIV Prevention and Treatment:
Incentives are more important than drugs for reversing the HIV/AIDS epidemic

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.


Mead Over is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development researching the economics of efficient, effective, and cost-effective health interventions in developing countries. He currently serves on PEPFAR’s Scientific Advisory Board, the UNAIDS/World Bank Economics Reference Group and the Steering Committee of the HIV/AIDS modeling Consortium. He has adjunct appointments at Sciences-Po and at William and Mary. Previously, Over taught health economics and econometrics for 11 years at Williams College and Boston University and then worked for 20 years at the World Bank where he co-authored the Bank’s first comprehensive treatment of the economics of AIDS in the book, Confronting AIDS: Public Priorities for a Global Epidemic (1997, 1999).  He is grateful to Phil Musgrove for helpful and supportive comments on early drafts of his most recent book, Achieving an AIDS Transition: Preventing Infections to Sustain Treatment (2011).  Over served in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso (1967-69), and completed a PhD in economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. For further information on Over’s career and publications, see www.cgdev.org/expert/mead-over.



Nicole Klingen— Acting Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, The World Bank
Robert Hecht— Managing Director, Results for Development Institute and Member, Philip Musgrove Memorial Steering Committee
Adam Wagstaff— Research Manager, Development Research Group, The World Bank and Member, Philip Musgrove Memorial Steering Committee


Dr. William Hsiao— K.T. Li Professor of Economics, Harvard School of Public Health  on Health Services Purchasing and Contracting Revisited

About Dr. Philip Musgrove

Dr. Philip Musgrove had a long and distinguished career in global health, and has exerted a powerful influence on the field of health economics. After receiving his MPA from Princeton and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Phil was an advisor to the Pan American Health Organization and a principal economist at the World Bank, from 1982 to 2002. During this time, he was a central author of two path-breaking publications, the World Development Report 1993 and the World Health Report 2000. From 2002-05, Phil was an editor of the Disease Control Priorities project, and from 2005 to the time of his tragic death in a boating accident in Argentina, he served as global health editor at Health Affairs in Bethesda, Maryland. Phil was the author of numerous scholarly publications and reports for international agencies, and taught health economics at universities in the Washington, DC area. Read Dr. Musgrove’s full biography.