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It’s Raining Babies? How Climate Change, Migration, and Social Networks are Changing Fertility

AAEA members present at 2020 ASSA Annual Meeting

Demographic trends are a key determinant of the growth path for every economy, affecting everything from the size of the labor force to the rate of technological progress. While the broad features of demographic transition are well-understood, there is a great deal of heterogeneity in how fertility decisions respond to changing socio-economic conditions. Children are generally thought to be a normal good, suggesting that fertility will increase with income. However, the process of economic growth tends to increase the cost of raising children, as both women’s labor force participation and the relative returns to child quality increase. These countervailing pressures imply that the net effect on fertility is complex and not easily predicted. In an AAEA session taking place at the Allied Social Science Association’s Annual Meeting entitled “Fertility in a Changing Environment: Climate Change, Migration, and Social Networks” three papers discuss several key issues on fertility globally.

The organizer of the session, Joyce Chen from The Ohio State University says, “The aim of this session is to move towards a better understanding of how fertility behavior will be affected by three major shifts facing the global economy – climate change, migration, and social learning.“

Papers in this session:

  • It’s Raining Babies? Flooding and Fertility Choices in Bangladesh
    Brian C. Thiede, Pennsylvania State University, Joyce J. Chen, The Ohio State University, Valerie Mueller, Arizona State University, and Yuanyuan Jia, The Ohio State University
  • Mobility Effects on Fertility Decisions: A Case Study using the Mexico Family Life Survey
    Katerine Y. Ramirez Nieto, The Ohio State University
  • Social Networks and Women’s Reproductive Health Choices in India
    S Anukriti, Boston College, Catalina Herrera-Almanza, Northeastern University, Mahesh Karra, Boston University, Praveen K. Pathak, University of Delhi

This session will take place on Saturday, January 4, from 8:00 am – 10:00 am at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. To attend this session please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office for your complimentary Media Registration.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190