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The fertility effect of catastrophe: U.S. hurricane births

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  • Richard Evans
  • Yingyao Hu
  • Zhong Zhao

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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Suggested Citation

  • Richard Evans & Yingyao Hu & Zhong Zhao, 2010. "The fertility effect of catastrophe: U.S. hurricane births," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 1-36, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:1:p:1-36
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-008-0219-2
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    2. Idriss Fontaine & Sabine Garabedian & David Nortes Martínez & Hélène Vérèmes, 2021. "Tropical Cyclones and Fertility : New Evidence from Madagascar," Working Papers hal-03243455, HAL.
    3. Eric Strobl, 2011. "The Economic Growth Impact of Hurricanes: Evidence from U.S. Coastal Counties," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 575-589, May.
    4. Fetzer, Thiemo & Pardo, Oliver & Shanghavi, Amar, 2016. "More than an Urban Legend: The long-term socioeconomic effects of unplanned fertility shocks," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 284, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2009. "The Economics of Natural Disasters - A Survey," Working Papers 200919, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    6. Ariel R. Belasen & Solomon W. Polachek, 2013. "Natural disasters and migration," Chapters, in: Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 17, pages 309-330, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Mu, Jianhong & Chen, Yong, 2014. "Impacts of Natural Hazards on County-level Per Capita Income in the United States," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170202, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Yashobanta Parida & Swati Saini & Joyita Roy Chowdhury, 2021. "Economic growth in the aftermath of floods in Indian states," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 535-561, January.
    9. Paul A. Raschky & Liang Choon Wang, 2017. "Reproductive behaviour at the end of the world: the effect of the Cuban Missile Crisis on U.S. fertility," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(56), pages 5722-5727, December.
    10. Giray Gozgor & Mehmet Huseyin Bilgin & Peter Rangazas, 2021. "Economic Uncertainty and Fertility," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 373-399.
    11. Alfredo Burlando, 2014. "Power Outages, Power Externalities, and Baby Booms," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(4), pages 1477-1500, August.
    12. Berlemann, Michael & Wenzel, Daniela, 2018. "Hurricanes, economic growth and transmission channels," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 231-247.
    13. Ryan Brown, 2020. "The Intergenerational Impact of Terror: Did the 9/11 Tragedy Impact the Initial Human Capital of the Next Generation?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(4), pages 1459-1481, August.
    14. 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.
    15. Thiemo Fetzer & Oliver Pardo & Amar Shanghavi, 2013. "An Urban Legend?! Power Rationing, Fertility and its Effects on Mothers," CEP Discussion Papers dp1247, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    16. Peña, Pablo A., 2020. "Relative age and investment in human capital," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    17. Briones, Kristine Joy & Del Mundo, Michael Dominic, 2021. "Report on the number of births during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, January 2020 to May 2021," MPRA Paper 111915, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Alam, Shamma Adeeb & Pörtner, Claus C., 2018. "Income shocks, contraceptive use, and timing of fertility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 96-103.
    19. Sellers, Samuel & Gray, Clark, 2019. "Climate shocks constrain human fertility in Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 357-369.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Family planning; Models with panel data; Disaster; J13; C23;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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