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psc brown bag iconRebuilding a Destroyed Population: Mortality, fertility, and the Indian Ocean tsunami

Jenna Nobles (University of Wisconsin)

03/12/2012, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

Co-sponsored with SRC

The residents of coastal Sumatra were one of many populations devastated by major disasters in the last decade – in this case the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Though studies have captured aspects of economic and structural recovery following these events, few have considered their demographic implications. We aim to fill this gap using data from a multi-level, longitudinal study fielded in Indonesia before and after the Indian Ocean tsunami. The Survey of Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery collected data from households in over 500 communities spanning a continuum of exposure to the disaster. Using satellite data to identify exposure variation, we look for temporal trends in the total fertility rate in heavily damaged communities that differ from the temporal trends in undamaged communities. We then develop a series of tests to identify whether the observed fertility trends are best interpreted as resulting from tsunami-driven changes to contraceptive access, family formation behavior, or the demand for additional children.


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