Reproductive behaviour at the end of the world: the effect of the Cuban Missile Crisis on U.S. fertility

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We exploit the timing of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the geographical variation in mortality risks individuals faced across states to analyse reproduction decisions during the crisis. The results of a difference-in-differences approach show evidence that fertility decreased in states that are farther from Cuba and increased in states with more military installations. Our findings suggest that individuals are more likely to engage in reproductive activities when facing high mortality risks, but reduce fertility when facing a high probability of enduring the aftermath of a catastrophe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5722-5727
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number56
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Difference-in-differences
  • fertility
  • mortality risk
  • war

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