The Effects of Conflict on Fertility: Evidence from the Genocide in Rwanda

Diskussionspapiere extern , 41 S.

Kati Kraehnert, Tilman Brück, Michele Di Maio, Roberto Nisticò

Naples: CSEF, 2017, 41 S.
(Working Paper / Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance ; 481)


This paper analyzes the effects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda on fertility outcomes. We study the effects ofviolence on both the timing of the first birth after the genocide and the total number of post-genocide births. Weanalyze individual-level data from several Demographic and Health Surveys, using event history and count datamodels. The paper contributes to the literature on the demographic effects of violent conflict by testing twochannels through which conflict influences subsequent fertility. First, the type of violence exposure as measuredby child death as well as by the death of a woman’s sibling. Second, the conflict-induced change in localdemographic conditions as captured by the change in the commune-level sex ratio. Results indicate that thegenocide has heterogeneous effects on fertility, depending on the type of violence experienced by the woman,her age cohort, parity, and the time horizon (5, 10, and 15 years after the genocide). There is strong evidence of areplacement effect. Having experienced the death of a child during the genocide reduces the time to the first birthafter the genocide and increases the total number of births in the post-genocide period. Experiencing a siblingdeath during the genocide significantly lowers fertility in the long run. The effect is strongest if a woman loses ayounger sister. Finally, the genocide-induced reduction in the sex ratio has a strong negative impact on fertility,both in terms of the timing of the first birth and the total number of births after the genocide.

Keywords: Child death, fertility, genocide, Rwanda, sex ratio, sibling death
Externer Link: