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The Importance of Being Wanted

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  • Quy-Toan Do
  • Tung D. Phung

Abstract

We identify birth wantedness as a source of better child outcomes. In Vietnam, the year of birth is widely believed to determine success. As a result, cohorts born in auspicious years are 12 percent larger. Comparing siblings with one another, those of auspicious cohorts are found to have two extra months of schooling. The Vietnamese horoscope being gender-specific, this difference will be shown to be driven by birth planning. Children born in auspicious years are more likely to have been planned, thus benefiting from a more favorable growth environment. (JEL J12, J13, O15, P23, Z13)

Suggested Citation

  • Quy-Toan Do & Tung D. Phung, 2010. "The Importance of Being Wanted," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 236-253, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:236-53
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.2.4.236
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Monica Das Gupta, 2014. "Population, Poverty, and Climate Change," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 29(1), pages 83-108.
    3. Johnson, Noel D. & Nye, John V.C., 2011. "Does fortune favor dragons?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 85-97, April.
    4. Wanchuan Lin & Juan Pantano & Shuqiao Sun, 2020. "Birth order and unwanted fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(2), pages 413-440, April.
    5. Almond, Douglas & Chee, Christine Pal & Sviatschi, Maria Micaela & Zhong, Nan, 2015. "Auspicious birth dates among Chinese in California," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 153-159.
    6. Beam, Emily A. & Shrestha, Slesh, 2016. "Inter-ethnic Fertility Spillovers and the Role of Forward-looking Behavior: Evidence from Peninsular Malaysia," IZA Discussion Papers 10385, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Cuong Viet Nguyen, 2018. "The long-term effects of mistimed pregnancy on children’s education and employment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 937-968, July.
    8. Habtamu Beshir & Jean-Francois Maystadt, 2016. "In utero seasonal food insecurity and cognitive development: Evidence from Ethiopia," Working Papers 157856919, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    9. Phung, T.D. & Hardeweg, B. & Praneetvatakul, S. & Waibel, H., 2015. "Non-Sampling Error and Data Quality: What Can We Learn from Surveys to Collect Data for Vulnerability Measurements?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 25-35.
    10. Miller, Ray, 2017. "Childhood Health and Prenatal Exposure to Seasonal Food Scarcity in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 350-376.
    11. Rodrigo Azuero Melo, 2014. "Wealth and the Construction of Non-Cognitive Skills. The Case of Colombia," Documentos CEDE 011950, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    12. Nguyen, Cuong, 2017. "Does Your Birthdate Tell Your Future? Evidence from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 81826, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. McCarthy, Aine Seitz, 2019. "Intimate partner violence and family planning decisions: Experimental evidence from rural Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 156-174.
    14. Yan Lau, 2019. "The dragon cohort of Hong Kong: traditional beliefs, demographics, and education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 219-246, January.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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