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Long-Run Consequences of Natural Disasters: Evidence from Tangshan


  • Guo Xu


Exploiting Tangshan 1976 - the deadliest earthquake in the 20th century - as a source of exogenous variation, we estimate the long-run effect of a historical shock on contemporary socio-economic outcomes. Cohorts born after the earthquake were not only larger, but exhibit lower school completion rates, particularly among the female today. Despite lower schooling levels, there is no evidence for adverse labour market outcomes. We conduct robustness checks and argue that the effect is causal.

Suggested Citation

  • Guo Xu, 2011. "Long-Run Consequences of Natural Disasters: Evidence from Tangshan," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1117, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1117

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel, 2014. "Children of War: The Long-Run Effects of Large-Scale Physical Destruction and Warfare on Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 634-662.
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    1. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:27-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jin, Ling & Chen, Kevin Z. & Yu, Bingxin & Filipski, Mateusz, 2015. "Farmers' Coping Strategies against an Aggregate Shock: Evidence from the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211814, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item


    Environmental shock; earthquake; natural disaster; education; fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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