Gone With the Wind? Hurricane Risk, Fertility and Education

I have just finished a paper on the relation between risk, fertility and education that uses data on hurricanes in Guatemala. The abstract is below. You can download the paper here.

This paper uses data on hurricanes in Guatemala over the last 120 years combined with a recent household survey to analyse how decisions on education and fertility respond to hurricane risk and shocks. For households with land an increase in the risk of hurricanes lead to both higher fertility and higher education, while households without land have fewer children but also higher education. Hurricane shocks lead to decreases in both fertility and education, and although there is a substantial compensatory effect on fertility later in life, that is not the case for education. The paper examines a number of possible explanations for these patterns and finds that the most likely explanation is insurance considerations through increased available labour and migration.