Bombs and Babies: Terrorism Increases Fertility in Nigeria
33 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 10, 2019
This paper studies the association between exposure to Boko Haram's attacks and households' fertility choices in Nigeria. In our model, parents decide not only how many children they want to have, but also how much they want to invest in them. The model's predictions suggest that households exposed to terrorism increase their number of children as a way to insure against future unexpected shocks and reduce investment in their offspring. We test the predictions of the model using geolocalized panel data linked to information on terrorist attacks that occurred in the region. Consistent with the theory, terrorism is found to increase fertility (proxied by the number of surviving children per household) and decrease parental investment (proxied by child malnutrition). The first association is robust to the use of difference-in-differences and instrumental variables models – and therefore can be given a causal interpretation – but the second is not.
Keywords: Terrorism, Fertility, Parental investment, Boko Haram, Nigeria
JEL Classification: J13, I15, D19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation