We Will Bury You, Part Dva

As the Cold War appears to be on some people’s mind these days, I am reminded of this study: Reproductive Behaviour at the End of the World: The Effect of the Cuban Missile Crisis on U.S. Fertility

A few highlights:

  1. Portner (2008) and Evans, Hu & Zhao (2008) show that fertility decreases with hurricane and high-severity storm warnings, whereas Rodgers, John & Coleman (2005) and Trail & Borst (1971) find that fertility increased in Oklahoma County after Oklahoma City Bombing, in 1995 and in New York after the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, respectively.
  2. We find that on average, the Cuban Missile Crisis did not have an effect on fertility. However, states closer to Cuba and with a greater presence of military installations experienced surges in births 8-10 months after the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  3. The findings suggest that individuals are more likely to engage in reproductive activities when facing high mortality risks, but reduce fertility when facing a high probability of enduring the aftermath of a catastrophe.

Just for the record, my father was deployed to Florida for the Cuban Missile Crisis and was part of the units that would have landed in the initial wave. It was an volunteer only effort, as they were anticipating high casualties. None of the men in his unit choose not to volunteer.

I was born well before that time, and, I am the youngest of the family. I have no relatives in Florida.


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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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