Economics ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-15-2020


The subject of this dissertation is the effect of changing weather patterns on human fertility in Chad, Sahelian Africa. There is a body of literature on the effect of extreme weather events-usually associated with large-scale mortality-and human fertility. However, there is less of a body of literature on the effects of less extreme changing weather patterns and human fertility. Chad has known substantial warming since the late 1960s, hence I use rising heat as a proxy for changing weather patterns. Using GIS-coded fertility and weather data, I look for correlations between the birth rate and the number of days in a month above 31 degrees Celsius, while partitioning data by climatic zone and by level of staple crop intensity. I then run the same models with sorghum and millet (Chadian staple crops) as the dependent variables. I find a general pattern that the same planting season high temperature days that have a negative effect on the birth rate, also have a negative effect on both sorghum and millet yields that is driven by the Sahel region. This accords with my adapted Beckerian theoretical model, but there are other more ambiguous results.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Economics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Kira Villa

Second Committee Member

Dr. Janie Chermak

Third Committee Member

Dr. Alok Bohara

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Kathy Powers




Chad, Becker, Weather, Sahel, Fertility, Demographics

Document Type


Included in

Economics Commons