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Name File Type Size Last Modified
  APP2015-0540_data 10/12/2019 01:15:PM
LICENSE.txt text/plain 14.6 KB 10/12/2019 09:15:AM

Project Citation: 

Bassi, Vittorio, and Rasul, Imran. Replication data for: Persuasion: A Case Study of Papal Influences on Fertility-Related Beliefs and Behavior. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2017. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-10-12. https://doi.org/10.3886/E113671V1

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary We study the persuasive impacts of non-informative communication on the short-run beliefs and long-run behavior of individuals. We do so in the context of the Papal visit to Brazil in October 1991, in which persuasive messages related to fertility were salient in Papal speeches during the visit. We use individual's exposure to such messages to measure how persuasion shifts short-run beliefs such as intentions to contracept and long-term fertility outcomes such as the timing and total number of births. To measure the short-run causal impact of persuasion, we exploit the fact the Brazil 1991 DHS was fielded in the weeks before, during, and after the Papal visit. We use this fortuitous timing to identify that persuasion significantly reduced individual intentions to contracept by more than 40 percent relative to pre-visit levels, and increased the frequency of unprotected sex by 30 percent. We measure the long-run causal impacts of persuasion on fertility outcomes using later DHS surveys to conduct an event study analysis on births in a five-year window on either side of the 1991 Papal visit. Estimating a hazard model of fertility, we find a significant change in births 9 months post-visit, corresponding to a 1.6 percent increase in the aggregate birth cohort. Our final set of results examine the very long-run impact of persuasion and document the impacts to be on the timing of births rather than on total fertility.

Scope of Project

JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      D83 Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
      I12 Health Behavior
      J13 Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
      J16 Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
      N36 Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: Latin America; Caribbean
      O15 Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
      Z12 Cultural Economics: Religion


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