284/2016 Thiemo Fetzer, Oliver Pardo and Amar Shanghavi
This paper exploits a nearly year-long period of power rationing that took place in Colombia in 1992, to shed light on three interrelated questions. First, we show that power shortages can lead to higher fertility, causing mini baby booms. Second, we show that the increase in fertility had not been offset by having fewer children over the following 12 years. Third, we show that the fertility shock caused mothers worse socioeconomic outcomes 12 years later. Taken together, the results suggest that there are significant indirect social costs to poor public infrastructure.
Journal of Population Economics