CODE Zika Brazil

About Decode Zika


Demographic Consequences of the Zika Epidemic (Decode Zika) - is a project that addresses two longstanding gaps in research on reproductive health. First, while scholars have examined reproductive responses to a variety of public health shocks in different countries, few have been able to capitalize on geographic or socioeconomic heterogeneity within these different contexts.

The project leverages Brazil’s large and diverse population and its ecologically varied territory to explore natural variation in the effect of Zika (ZIKV) exposure and heterogeneity in the effects of exposure. Differently from previous evidence of the impact of exogenous shocks on fertility in high-income countries with low fertility and in lowincome countries with high fertility, Decode Zika will provide evidence of a relatively new public health threat in a middle-income country with low fertility by analyzing both new panel survey data and birth records.

Second, panel data on reproductive behavior have never been collected in Brazil, greatly limiting the ability of previous scholarship to examine temporal dimensions of reproductive processes within the Brazilian context.

Decode Zika addresses this gap in two ways: by collecting panel data that will facilitate an investigation into the effects of ZIKV over time and by linking measures of ZIKV exposure and sociodemographic dimensions to birth records before, throughout and after the peak of the epidemic. These strategies will allow the scientific community to address unanswered questions about how and why reproductive processes vary in Brazil, both in response to the ZIKV epidemic and irrespective of it.