Lithium-ion batteries and fertility in Africa

Relatore: Michele Maurizio Malpede (Department of Economics, University of Verona)

  • Data: 30 maggio 2024 dalle 11:30 alle 12:30

  • Luogo: Aula III - Via Belle Arti, 41

This study investigates how the global adoption of modern electrical batteries influenced women’s fertility choices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country rich in cobalt, an essential component of lithium-ion batteries. The findings reveal that women living in cobalt-rich villages experience higher fertility rates and a greater desire for children relative to those in non-cobalt-rich communities. I attribute this phenomenon to the use of children in cobalt mines, as opposed to other mineral mining activities, which leads to a short-term increase in household wealth and motivates parents to have more children. These results provide novel insights into our understanding of the complex relationship between economic development, natural resources, and fertility decisions in developing economies.

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