The Effect of a Natural Disaster on the Incidence of Miscarriages, Stillbirths and Pregnancy Outcomes

Tzu-Yin Hazel Tseng, University of Houston
Elaine M. Liu, University of Houston
Jin-Tan Liu, National Taiwan University and National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

In this project, we study the impact on miscarriage and stillbirth and other outcomes caused by an earthquake that took place in Taiwan. Our main identification strategy is difference-in-differences method. We compare the pregnancy outcomes of women who resided in areas with high earthquake intensity (i.e., higher on the Seismic scale) to those who resided in areas with lower earthquake intensity, before and after the earthquake. Our data set is unique since Taiwan provides universal healthcare, the incidences of miscarriages/stillbirths are more likely to be recorded in the medical records. Our preliminary analysis of birth registries data suggests that the incidence of miscarriages and stillbirths increases in the most affected regions relative to least affected regions.

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Presented in Session 141: Effects of Policies and Programs and Events on Infant Mortality and Birth Outcomes