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An Urban Legend?! Power Rationing, Fertility and its Effects on Mothers

Author

Listed:
  • Thiemo Fetzer
  • Oliver Pardo
  • Amar Shanghavi

Abstract

This paper answers the question whether extreme power rationing can induce changes in human fertility and thus, generate "mini baby booms". We study a period of extensive power rationing in Colombia that lasted for most of 1992 and see whether this has increased births in the subsequent year, exploiting variation from a newly constructed measure of the extent of power rationing. We find that power rationing increased the probability that a mother had a baby by 4 percent and establish that this effect is permanent as mothers who had a black out baby were not able to adjust their total long-run fertility. Exploiting this variation, we show that women who had a black-out baby find themselves in worse socio-economic conditions more than a decade later, highlighting potential social costs of unplanned motherhood.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1247
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    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1247.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-477, June.
    2. Joyce P. Jacobsen & James Wishart Pearce III & Joshua L. Rosenbloom, 1999. "The Effects of Childbearing on Married Women's Labor Supply and Earnings: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 449-474.
    3. Rud, Juan Pablo, 2012. "Electricity provision and industrial development: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 352-367.
    4. Taryn Dinkelman, 2011. "The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3078-3108, December.
    5. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094.
    6. Eliana La Ferrara & Alberto Chong & Suzanne Duryea, 2012. "Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 1-31, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Claus Portner, 2006. "Gone With the Wind? Hurricane Risk, Fertility and Education," Working Papers UWEC-2006-19-R, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2008.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Grimm & Robert Sparrow & Luca Tasciotti, 2015. "Does Electrification Spur the Fertility Transition? Evidence From Indonesia," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1773-1796, October.
    2. Jacopo Bonan & Stefano Pareglio & Massimo Tavoni, 2014. "Access to Modern Energy: a Review of Impact Evaluations," Working Papers 2014.96, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; infrastructure; blackouts; unplanned parenthood;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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