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La planification des naissances dans l'année : une réalité peu visible en France


  • Arnaud Régnier-Loilier


Intentional timing by couples was one of the explanations put forward for the spring birth peak observed in France in the 1970s and 1980s. At first sight, recent changes in seasonality, characterized by a shift in the mode and a reduction in amplitude, appear to challenge this hypothesis. However, data from two recent surveys, which included specific questions on this topic, as well as from the registry of births, show that a non-negligible proportion of couples deliberately discontinue birth control in order to have a child at a particular time of the year. Their decision seems to be driven mainly by the attraction of the summer months and by job-related concerns. When the seasonal birth rates are broken down according to the woman’s occupation, we find distinctive patterns for three categories: «farmers», «self-employed: business, trade and crafts» and, above all, “primary-school teachers”. The majority of the latter give birth in spring – far fewer have children in July and August – so that their maternity leave will run into the long summer holidays.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Régnier-Loilier, 2010. "La planification des naissances dans l'année : une réalité peu visible en France," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 65(1), pages 191-206.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:popine:popu_1001_0191

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    Cited by:

    1. Damian Clarke & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2016. "The Demand for Season of Birth," Working Papers 2016-032, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

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