Natural Disasters and Birth Rate: Evidence from the 2010 Chilean Earthquake

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Valeria Scapini
Cinthya Vergara


A major natural disaster can generate changes in the affected population’s behavior. As Chile is considered one of the countries with the highest seismic activity and has experienced several of the most intense earthquakes on record in the world, this work seeks to identify behavioral changes in the birth rate within an affected population related to a natural disaster in Chile. Based on evidence from the 2010 Chilean earthquake, an empirical study was carried out drawing on birth rate data and social data associated with earthquakes in Chile between 2004 and 2015. Two models were estimated. The first model is a difference-in-differences model for determining the effect of the disaster on the birth rate in the affected area in the post-disaster period. The second model is a triple-difference model that includes the trend of the data over time. The results indicate a positive relationship between the variation in the birth rate and the occurrence of the natural disaster. Studying the relationship between disaster events and fertility contributes to understanding the phenomena of social dynamics. This knowledge could improve public policy decision making for better planning in the face of a natural disaster.


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Scapini, V., & Vergara, C. (2021). Natural Disasters and Birth Rate: Evidence from the 2010 Chilean Earthquake. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 29(-), 274 - 285. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Valeria Scapini, Escuela de Ingeniería Comercial, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile

Corresponding author


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