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Tropical Cyclones and Fertility : New Evidence from Madagascar

Abstract : Does exposure to tropical cyclones affect fertility? This paper tackles this issue by exploiting geolocated microdata from the Malagasy Demographic and Health Survey together with wind field data generated by tropical cyclones hitting Madagascar during the 1985-2009 period. The mothers’ fertility history available in the microdata allows us to construct a panel dataset indicating if a mother gave birth during a given year and if she has been exposed to a tropical cyclone. By means of panel regressions, that allows a full control of unobserved heterogeneities, we then estimate the causal effect of tropical cyclone shocks on female likelihood of giving birth. We find evidence that the effect of tropical cyclone exposure on motherhood is significantly negative. In particular, being exposed to wind speed of 100 km/h implies a fall in the probability of giving birth of 25.6 points in the current year together with further decline of 5.9 and 2.0 points respectively one and two years after being exposed. Alternative specifications of our baseline model provide further insights. First, we find mixed evidence of intensification effects. Second, we find no evidence of non-linearities in the effect. Third, the negative effect is stronger before 1998. Fourth, the effect of tropical cyclone on motherhood is persistent since in an extended model estimated coefficients are significantly negative up to seven years after being exposed. The estimated effect is shown to be robust to the use of alternative formulation of the wind speed variable but also to an alternative treatment of geolocated data.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03243455
Contributor : Yannick l'Horty <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 31, 2021 - 4:02:00 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 3:38:03 AM

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Idriss Fontaine, Sabine Garabedian, David Nortes-Martinez, Hélène Vérèmes. Tropical Cyclones and Fertility : New Evidence from Madagascar. 2021. ⟨hal-03243455⟩

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