Can Declines in Fertility During Floods Be Explained by Increased Demands on the Farm?
Valerie Mueller and
No 296667, 2020 Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 3-5, 2020, San Diego, California from Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
Projections of sea-level rise and coastal flooding place Bangladesh as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change by the end of this century. These changes are expected to have widespread consequences, including for population dynamics. We build upon a growing economic demography literature to estimate the effect of flooding on fertility in rural Bangladesh, using satellite-based measures of flooding and vital registration data on the infant population (2003-2011). We additionally perform parallel analyses of the socio-economic effects of flooding to explore whether prevailing labor market opportunities during a flooding episode shape the decision to conceive. We find the odds of having a child under age 1 in a household declines 3 percent when the extent of flooding in a sub-district increases by one standard deviation. There are no differential effects on the sex ratio. Flood-induced declines in fertility coincide with increased labor force participation by men, but maternal health, fetal vulnerability at gestation and/or increased health risks post birth seem to play a larger role. Future research differentiating how climate change affects the opportunity cost of worker’s time versus physiological factors related to human fertility is thus a key component to projecting the future stock of rural workers.
Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics; Environmental Economics and Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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