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Life After The Storm: The Effect of L’Aquila Earthquake on Marriage Rates


  • Cicatiello, Lorenzo
  • Ercolano, Salvatore
  • Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio
  • Parenti, Benedetta


Natural disasters represent a challenge for policy-makers both for the immediate aftermath and for the mid- and long-term consequences. Knowing the reaction of the struck communities is an invaluable help for planning and implementing informed policies. Embracing such a perspective, this paper aims to provide empirical evidence about the effect that natural disasters exert on the marriage rates reported by the struck communities. The analysis is focused on L’Aquila earthquake that occurred in 2009 and stroke a number of municipalities in the Abruzzo Region in Southern Italy. We exploit a natural experiment setting via a difference-in-differences design, using highly disaggregate data (municipality level) in order to assess whether the shock caused by the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009 resulted in a substantial variation of the marriage rate in the municipalities hit more severely by the natural disaster. We find that the municipalities that payed a higher toll show an increasing higher marriage rate with respect to those that did not experienced major damages.

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  • Cicatiello, Lorenzo & Ercolano, Salvatore & Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio & Parenti, Benedetta, 2019. "Life After The Storm: The Effect of L’Aquila Earthquake on Marriage Rates," MPRA Paper 96712, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:96712

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-018-0700-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Finlay, Jocelyn E., 2009. "Fertility response to natural disasters : the case of three high mortality earthquakes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4883, The World Bank.
    3. Florencia Torche, 2011. "The Effect of Maternal Stress on Birth Outcomes: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(4), pages 1473-1491, November.
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    More about this item


    natural disasters; marriage rates; difference-in-differences;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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