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Reproductive Behaviour at the End of the World: The Effect of the Cuban Missile Crisis on U.S. Fertility

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  • Paul A. Raschky
  • Liang Choon Wang

Abstract

We exploit the timing of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the geographical variation in mortality risks individuals faced across states to analyze reproduction decisions. The results of a difference-in-differences approach show evidence that fertility increased in states that are geographically closer to Cuba and states with more military installations. The findings suggest that when facing high mortality risks, individuals might discount future at an extremely high rate and indulge in reproductive activities.

Suggested Citation

  • 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," Monash Economics Working Papers 54-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2012-54
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    File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2012/5412reproductiveraschkywang.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:63:y:1969:i:03:p:689-718_25 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
    3. Peter Lorentzen & John McMillan & Romain Wacziarg, 2008. "Death and development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 81-124, June.
    4. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-439, December.
    5. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2009. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Maternal Mortality Declines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 349-397.
    6. 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.
    7. Joseph Rodgers & Craig John & Ronnie Coleman, 2005. "Did fertility go up after the oklahoma city bombing? An analysis of births in metropolitan counties in Oklahoma, 1990–1999," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 675-692, November.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:63:y:1969:i:03:p:689-718_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Mortality Risk; War;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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