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The Fertility Effect of Catastrophe: U.S. Hurricane Births

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Author Info

  • Evans, Richard W.

    ()
    (University of Texas at Austin)

  • Hu, Yingyao

    ()
    (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Zhao, Zhong

    ()
    (Renmin University of China)

Abstract

For years, anecdotal evidence has suggested increased fertility rates resulting from catastrophic events in an area. In this paper, we measure this fertility effect using storm advisory data and fertility data for the Atlantic and Gulf Coast counties of the United States. We find that low-severity storm advisories are associated with a positive and significant fertility effect and that high-severity advisories have a significant negative fertility effect. As the type of advisory goes from least severe to most severe, the fertility effect of the specific advisory type decreases monotonically from positive to negative. We also find that most of the changes in fertility resulting from storm advisories come from couples who have had at least one child already. In addition to our short-term effect estimation, we also test the effects of storm advisories on long run fertility. Our results provide weak evidence at most that the highest severity storm advisories have a permanent negative fertility effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2975.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2010, 23 (1), 1 - 36 [Details & Download]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2975

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Keywords: disaster; panel data models; family planning; fertility;

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References

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  1. Claus Chr. Pörtner, 1997. "Children as Insurance," Discussion Papers 97-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, . "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center, Chicago - Population Research Center 85-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  3. Olivier Deschenes & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality and Migration," NBER Working Papers 13227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "The Demand for and Supply of Births: Fertility and Its Life Cycle Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 992-1015, December.
  6. Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2006. "The Impact of an Abortion Ban on Socioeconomic Outcomes of Children: Evidence from Romania," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 744-773, August.
  7. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1984. "An Estimable Dynamic Stochastic Model of Fertility and Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 852-74, October.
  8. Belasen, Ariel R. & Polachek, Solomon, 2007. "How Disasters Affect Local Labor Markets: The Effects of Hurricanes in Florida," IZA Discussion Papers 2976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller, . "The Economics of Family Planning," University of Chicago - Population Research Center, Chicago - Population Research Center 85-5, Chicago - Population Research Center.
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Cited by:
  1. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2009. "The Economics of Natural Disasters: A Survey," IDB Publications 6779, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. Paul A. Raschky & Liang Choon Wang, 2012. "Reproductive Behaviour at the End of the World: The Effect of the Cuban Missile Crisis on U.S. Fertility," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series, Monash University, Department of Economics 54-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  3. Xavier Vives, 2011. "Endogenous Public Information and Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 3492, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Ryan Brown, 2014. "The Intergenerational Impact of Terror: Does the 9/11 Tragedy Reverberate into the Outcomes of the Next Generation?," HiCN Working Papers 165, Households in Conflict Network.
  5. Strobl, Eric, 2008. "The Economic Growth Impact of Hurricanes: Evidence from US Coastal Counties," IZA Discussion Papers 3619, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Thiemo Fetzer & Oliver Pardo & Amar Shanghavi, 2013. "An Urban Legend?! Power Rationing, Fertility and its Effects on Mothers," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp1247, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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