An Urban Legend?: Power Rationing, Fertility and its Effects on Mothers


  • CEP Discussion Papers


  • This paper answers the question whether extreme power rationing can induce changes in human fertility and thus, generate mini baby booms. We study a period of extensive power rationing in Colombia that lasted for most of 1992 and see whether this has increased births in the subsequent year, exploiting variation from a newly constructed measure of the extent of power rationing. We find that power rationing increased the probability that a mother had a baby by 4 percent and establish that this effect is permanent as mothers who had a black out baby were not able to adjust their total long-run fertility. Exploiting this variation, we show that women who had a black-out baby find themselves in worse socio-economic conditions more than a decade later, highlighting potential social costs of unplanned motherhood.

fecha de publicación

  • 2013-11

Líneas de investigación

  • Blackouts
  • Fertility
  • Infrastructure
  • Unplanned Parenthood


  • dp1247