I gave a seminar at UBC 17 March on my paper "Gone with the Wind? Hurricane Risk, Fertility and Education". I am in the process of revising the paper based on comments from seminar participants and referee reports I have gotten. An revised version should be ready in the not too distant future.
I presented my paper on "Natural Hazards and Child Health" at the Pacific Development Conference at SFSU in San Francisco this last Saturday. Anoshua Chaudhuri did a great job at arranging the conference (Anoshua is a graduate from the UW graduate programme and is an assistant professor at SFSU). The only "problem" with the conference is that it is almost too short; only one day which does not allow a lot of time to chat with people.
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.