Temperature, climate change, and human conception rates: evidence from Hungary (Hajdu, Hajdu 2021)

Journal of Population Economics, DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00814-1

In this paper, we examine the relationship between temperature and human conception rates and project the impacts of climate change by the mid-twenty-first century. Using complete administrative data on 6.8 million pregnancies between 1980 and 2015 in Hungary, we show that exposure to hot temperatures reduces the conception rate in the first few weeks following exposure, but a partial rebound is observed after that. We project that with absent adaptation, climate change will increase seasonal differences in conception rates and annual conception rates will decline. A change in the number of induced abortions and spontaneous fetal losses drives the decline in conception rates. The number of live births is unaffected. However, some newborns will experience a shift in the timing of conception that leads to changes in in utero temperature exposure and therefore might have further consequences.