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


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.

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Correspondence to Zhong Zhao.

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Responsible editor: Junsen Zhang

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Evans, R.W., Hu, Y. & Zhao, Z. The fertility effect of catastrophe: U.S. hurricane births. J Popul Econ 23, 1–36 (2010).

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  • Fertility
  • Family planning
  • Models with panel data
  • Disaster

JEL Classification

  • J13
  • C23