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Fertility in a Changing Environment: Climate Change, Migration, and Social Networks

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Mission Beach A
Hosted By: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
  • Chair: Joyce Chen, Ohio State University

It’s Raining Babies? Flooding and Fertility Choices in Bangladesh

Brian Thiede
,
Pennsylvania State University
Joyce Chen
,
Ohio State University
Valerie Mueller
,
International Food Policy Research Institute
Yuanyuan Jia
,
Ohio State University

Abstract

Little is known about the potential for climate-induced changes in fertility. This is an important knowledge gap, since fertility patterns have important consequences for development outcomes at both the micro and macro levels. We examine the effects of flood exposure on fertility by combining birth histories from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) with data on flooding derived from NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellites. We model the probability of giving birth in year t as a function of prior flood exposure, net of time-varying controls for age and marital status and including both time and person fixed effects. We then utilize the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) and the Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) to explore the social and economic mechanisms underlying these effects.

Mobility Effects on Fertility Decisions: A Case Study Using the Mexico Family Life Survey

Katerine Ramirez Nieto
,
Ohio State University

Abstract

The research question for this paper is whether early age mobility within the country has an effect on women’s fertility decisions. Looking at migration during childhood eases identification concerns by (1) accounting for simultaneity, allowing time to pass between events, and (2) focusing not on the individual’s decision, but that of the household, to change locations. One concern is that, because of the prolonged time between the trip and the time of fertility decisions and outcomes (at least 3 years), the question arises of whether the effect is from the actual migration trip and not due to other happenings at play during that time. Preliminary results show child migrants have a lower number of children but 3 earlier start of pregnancies. However, the effect on the number of children goes away after controlling for whether the location of birth is an urban or a rural setting. This suggests that changing locations when younger, may have an effect on the age to start having children, and the number of children a woman decides to have; but when including the decision to have children at all, it may be driven by urban or rural locations.

Social Networks and Women’s Reproductive Health Choices in India

S. Anukriti
,
Boston College
Catalina Herrera-Almanza
,
Northeastern University
Mahesh Karra
,
Boston University
Praveen Pathak
,
University of Delhi

Abstract

While the influence of peers on economic behavior has been studied in various contexts, network analyses of gendered issues, such as reproductive health, are quite limited. Using the baseline survey of an ongoing networks-based randomized controlled trial (RCT) in rural India, we characterize the social networks of young women in the context of family planning (FP). We find that these women’s FP network is very sparse and displays homophily, i.e., the peers are similar to the egos in terms of socioeconomic characteristics (e.g., education, caste). Women who have lower decision-making power relative to their husbands, are less educated, and do not work outside of their home have fewer FP peers. The results of the RCT together with the social networks characterization will enable us to disentangle peer effects from correlated observables and to understand how FP interventions are likely to diffuse through a sparsely connected network of women in India.
Discussant(s)
Mark Rosenzweig
,
Yale University
JEL Classifications
  • Q0 - General