The Long-Term Effect of Earthquakes on Birth Outcomes: Evidence from the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake Open Access

Chen, Roger (Spring 2022)

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This paper investigates the effect of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake on the birth outcomes of the region. I hypothesize that the event leads to a decrease in birth weight as well as a continuous but declining negative effect in the years after. Using a difference-in-difference framework, I find evidence supporting the earthquake lowering the birth weights of the region from the years 2008-2014, but am not able to show a decline in magnitude throughout the period. I outline two possible explanations of unknown exogenous effects as well as the incompatibility of the parallel assumption

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 Literature Review and Background 4

2.1 Literature on prenatal shocks on health 4

2.2 Mechanism of stress 5

2.3 Background on the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake 6

3 Data Description 7

4 Methodology 8

5 Results 10

6 Conclusion 12

7 Appendix: Figures and Tables 14

8 References 24

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