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The Effects of Conflict on Fertility: Evidence from the Genocide in Rwanda

Author

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  • Kati Kraehnert

    (German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin))

  • Tilman Brück

    (International Security and Development Center (ISDC), Berlin, Germany and Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ))

  • Michele Di Maio

    (Università di Napoli Parthenope)

  • Roberto Nisticò

    (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda on fertility outcomes. We study the effects of violence on both the timing of the first birth after the genocide and the total number of post-genocide births. We analyze individual-level data from several Demographic and Health Surveys, using event history and count data models. The paper contributes to the literature on the demographic effects of violent conflict by testing two channels through which conflict influences subsequent fertility. First, the type of violence exposure as measured by child death as well as by the death of a woman’s sibling. Second, the conflict-induced change in local demographic conditions as captured by the change in the commune-level sex ratio. Results indicate that the genocide has heterogeneous effects on fertility, depending on the type of violence experienced by the woman, her age cohort, parity, and the time horizon (5, 10, and 15 years after the genocide). There is strong evidence of a replacement effect. Having experienced the death of a child during the genocide reduces the time to the first birth after the genocide and increases the total number of births in the post-genocide period. Experiencing a sibling death during the genocide significantly lowers fertility in the long run. The effect is strongest if a woman loses a younger sister. Finally, the genocide-induced reduction in the sex ratio has a strong negative impact on fertility, both in terms of the timing of the first birth and the total number of births after the genocide.

Suggested Citation

  • Kati Kraehnert & Tilman Brück & Michele Di Maio & Roberto Nisticò, 2017. "The Effects of Conflict on Fertility: Evidence from the Genocide in Rwanda," CSEF Working Papers 481, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:481
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    Cited by:

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    2. Becker, Sascha O & Mukand, Sharun & Yotzov, Ivan, 2022. "Persecution, Pogroms and Genocide : A Conceptual Framework and New Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1421, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Guerra-Cújar, María Elvira & Prem, Mounu & Rodriguez-Lesmes, Paul & Vargas, Juan F., 2020. "The Peace Baby Boom: Evidence from Colombia’s peace agreement with FARC," SocArXiv c2ypd, Center for Open Science.
    4. Laura Rodríguez, 2022. "Violence and newborn health: Estimates for Colombia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 112-136, January.
    5. Michelle L. O’Brien, 2021. "The Consequences of the Tajikistani Civil War for Abortion and Miscarriage," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 40(5), pages 1061-1084, October.
    6. Satoshi Shimizutani & Eiji Yamada, 2021. "Long-term Consequences of Civil War in Tajikistan: Schooling and International Migration Outcomes," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2021-014, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    7. Abay,Kibrom A. & Hirfrfot,Kibrom Tafere & Berhane,Guush & Chamberlin,Jordan & Abay,Mehari H., 2022. "Near-Real-Time Welfare and Livelihood Impacts of an Active Civil War : Evidence from Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10004, The World Bank.
    8. Orsola Torrisi, 2020. "Armed Conflict and the Timing of Childbearing in Azerbaijan," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 46(3), pages 501-556, September.
    9. Andrés Felipe Castro Torres & B. Piedad Urdinola, 2019. "Armed Conflict and Fertility in Colombia, 2000–2010," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 38(2), pages 173-213, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child death; fertility; genocide; Rwanda; sex ratio; sibling death.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N47 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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