Original Paper

Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 1-36

First online:

The fertility effect of catastrophe: U.S. hurricane births

  • Richard W. EvansAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Brigham Young University
  • , Yingyao HuAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Johns Hopkins University
  • , Zhong ZhaoAffiliated withInstitute for the Study of Labor (IZA)School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China Email author 

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Anecdotal evidence has suggested increased fertility rates resulting from catastrophic events in an area. In this paper, we measure this fertility effect using storm advisory data and fertility data for the Atlantic and Gulf-coast counties of the USA. We find that low-severity storm advisories are associated with a positive and significant fertility effect and that high-severity advisories have a significant negative fertility effect. As the type of advisory goes from least severe to most severe, the fertility effect of the specific advisory type decreases monotonically from positive to negative. We also find some other interesting demographic effects.


Fertility Family planning Models with panel data Disaster

JEL Classification

J13 C23