On November 23, the Women in Environmental Economics for Development (WinEED) collaborative held a seminar as an opportunity for researchers to present their work on the intersection of EfD’s themes and gender. Camille Belmin presented her paper on how access to modern energy could be associated to fertility decline.
This paper, co-written by Roman Hoffmann, Peter-Paul Pichler, and Helga Weisz, provides for the first time large-scale evidence of a relationship between fertility rates and modern energy access. Using a panel dataset they built from DHS (Demographic and Health Survey) data covering 42 countries, 409 district, over 26 years, from 1990 to 2015, they find that increases in the electrification rate are associated with substantial reductions in fertility. With a 10 percent increase in electrification, the total fertility rate is predicted to be reduced by 0.16 Although limitations such as energy access being more complex than a binary measure, Belmin and her colleagues find "that energy access might actually lead to a smaller population growth and therefore if this is taken into account in UN Population growth models, we would find a smaller future energy demand. So in a way, we think the energy demand is overestimated in these models." To learn more, please check out the video below!