This application seeks funding to examine demographic change after a recent large-scale disaster, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
We aim to elucidate the timing, pace, and determinants of fertility in Indonesian communities that were exposed to a continuum of destruction. To do so, we draw from a highly unusual data set - the Study of the Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery (STAR) - collected during 2004-2010 in over 500 communities from two provinces of Indonesia. The study includes regions of Indonesia that were completely destroyed as well as communities that were not exposed to the tsunami. The data thus support a treatment-control design to study the disaster's effects. Because the baseline survey was conducted in 2004, the survey is representative of population before the disaster, and much is known about the survey respondents before the event (N~40,000). Data on these respondents, their families, their communities, and their service providers were collected beginning five months after the tsunami. Re- interview occurred approximately annually for five years after the event.
We aim to capture the timing and the evolution of a fertility response to the disaster by comparing temporal trends in aggregate fertility in the heavily damaged and undamaged regions. We then develop a series of multilevel hazard models that examine how the timing of post-disaster fertility responded to pre-disaster attributes, disaster exposure, and temporal shifts in fertility antecedents - such as contraceptive availability and economic stability - in the wake of the event. Measurement of respondents prior to the disaster provides a means of causally attributing observed fertility changes to mechanisms shifted by the disaster. The proposed research both informs our understanding of the post-disaster environment in Indonesia and provides theoretical insights for larger questions regarding demographic response to population trauma. Of particular importance is our ability to assess why fertility changes in the context of disaster - an underdeveloped line of inquiry with clear implications for improving recovery policy and interpreting modern fertility trends.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research is part of an ongoing effort to understand the demographic consequences of population trauma. We will examine the timing, pace, and determinants of fertility change following a recent large-scale disaster - the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. We seek to analyze data on fertility and its antecedents in Indonesian communities from the Survey of Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery, which was fielded before and after the disaster in regions spanning a continuum of destruction.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
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King, Rosalind B
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University of Wisconsin Madison
Social Sciences
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Nobles, Jenna; Frankenberg, Elizabeth; Thomas, Duncan (2015) The effects of mortality on fertility: population dynamics after a natural disaster. Demography 52:15-38