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Effects of outbreak media coverage: Zika virus and fertility behaviour in Colombia

EL TIEMPO, Enero 2016. Confirman más de 11.000 casos de zika en Colombia

We estimated the impact on birth rate and demand for health care services of the Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in Colombia. We do so by exploiting the natural protection of certain areas of the country to mosquito-transmitted diseases, which induce exogenous variation of incidence rates. This characteristic allowed us to construct a control group of municipalities which have similar historical fertility trends but which differ on their exposure to the Zika crisis. For this, we implemented a DiD after matching and a synthetic control. As a result, we are able to compare quarterly birth rates. We found a sharp decrease in birth rates (around 4% to 6%), which was deeper among women with higher education levels and those above 20 years old.

Published articles

Gamboa, LF.; Rodríguez-Lesmes, Paul (20019). "The fertility-inhibiting effect of mosquitoes: socio-economic differences in response to the Zika crisis in Colombia." Economics & Human Biology: 35, pp. 63-72.

Working papers


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