Selective Attrition and Fertility Behavior after Weather Shocks. The Case of Typhoons in the Philippines

Jorge I. Ugaz, University of Chicago and Abt Associates

This study tries to ascertain whether natural disasters, like typhoons or hurricanes, affect fertility behavior differently for certain families. Focusing on the effects of the severe typhoon season that affected the Philippines in 1984, I use census data to determine if such exogenous shocks cause selective attrition on fertility behavior in the most affected or vulnerable families, making them to temporarily postpone or cancel their fertility plans. The empirical methodology includes long-term trend analysis and, more importantly, a difference-in-difference-in-difference approach, coupled with a matching (weighting) strategy for robustness purposes. Preliminary findings show that, in a typhoon’s aftermath, less-educated households were more likely to postpone having children than better-educated households. Potential sources of bias and selection, including child-survival and internal migration, are addressed.

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Presented in Poster Session 3