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Longevity and month of birth


  • Gabriele Doblhammer

    (Rostocker Zentrum zur Erforschung des Demografischen Wandels)


This article shows that in two European countries, Austria and Denmark, a person’s life span correlates with his or her month of birth. It presents evidence that this pattern is not the result of the seasonal distribution of death. It also shows that the seasonal pattern in longevity cannot be explained by the so-called birthday phenomenon, the alleged tendency of people to die shortly after their birthday. The article concludes with a discussion of possible social and biological mechanisms related to a person’s season of birth that might influence life expectancy.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriele Doblhammer, 1999. "Longevity and month of birth," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 1(3), August.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:1:y:1999:i:3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter McDonald, 2000. "Gender Equity in Theories of Fertility Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 427-439.
    2. repec:cai:poeine:pope_203_0417 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Linda Waite & Glenna Spine, 1981. "Young women’s transition to marriage," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(4), pages 681-694, November.
    4. Karen Mason, 1997. "Explaining fertility transitions," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(4), pages 443-454, November.
    5. Zsolt Spéder, 2005. "The rise of cohabitation as first union and some neglected factors of recent demographic developmnets in Hungary," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 49(5), pages 77-103.
    6. Lugus, Olev & Vartia, Pentti, 1993. "Estonia and Finland - A Retrospective Socioenonomic Comparison," Research Reports 15, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
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    More about this item


    birthday; births; cause of death; longevity; mortality; seasonality;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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