Disease and Fertility: Evidence from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Sweden

Nina Boberg-Fazlic, Martin Karlsson, Therese Nilsson, Maryna Ivets

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This paper studies the effect of the 1918/19 influenza pandemic on fertility in Sweden. We find evidence of community rebuilding and replacement fertility, but the net long-term effect is a large reduction in fertility. Within this fertility decline there is a selection into more stable families: we observe a relative increase in births to married women and better-off families. Several factors -- including income effects and disruptions to marriage -- contribute to fertility reduction. Our results are consistent with studies that find a positive fertility response following natural disasters, but we show that this effect is short-lived.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInstitute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
SeriesIZA Discussion Paper


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