IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/dem/demres/v37y2017i57.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The empirical content of season-of-birth effects: An investigation with Turkish data

Author

Listed:
  • Huzeyfe Torun

    (Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankası (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey))

  • Semih Tumen

    (Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankası (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey))

Abstract

Background: Our aim is to investigate the link between season of birth and socioeconomic background. Objective: Season of birth is often used as an instrumental variable in answering various research questions in demography and economics. We use Turkish data to point out the potential deficiencies of this approach. We show that these deficiencies can be amplified in developing-country settings due to measurement errors. Methods: We merge administrative birth records into the Turkish Labor Force survey and use OLS, IV–2SLS, and regression discontinuity approaches to answer the question we pose. Results: We find that, due to certain institutional, cultural, and geographical factors, around 20% of the Turkish population are reported to have been born in January. Moreover, January-born individuals have, on average, a worse socioeconomic background than individuals born in other months. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the season-of-birth variable, which is used as an instrumental variable (IV) in many studies using Turkish data, is not random; thus, one should be careful in implementing IV estimation based on season-of-birth cutoffs. In particular, it cannot be used in regression discontinuity exercises relying on date cutoffs around January 1 (which important policy efforts such as the reform of compulsory education often do) unless handled with caution. Contribution: The main contribution of this paper is to show that the season-of-birth variable is potentially nonrandom (i.e., it is not independent from family background) for several reasons, and the degree of this nonrandomness is likely amplified in developing-country settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Huzeyfe Torun & Semih Tumen, 2017. "The empirical content of season-of-birth effects: An investigation with Turkish data," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(57), pages 1825-1860.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:57
    DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2017.37.57
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol37/57/37-57.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Grenet, Julien & Hart, Robert A. & Roberts, J. Elizabeth, 2011. "Above and beyond the call. Long-term real earnings effects of British male military conscription in the post-war years," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 194-204, April.
    2. Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J. & Mullen, K.J.Kathleen J., 2004. "The effect of schooling and ability on achievement test scores," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 39-98.
    3. Hoogerheide, Lennart & Kleibergen, Frank & van Dijk, Herman K., 2007. "Natural conjugate priors for the instrumental variables regression model applied to the Angrist-Krueger data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 63-103, May.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
    5. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2009. "Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 246-263, February.
    6. Angrist, Joshua D. & Chen, Stacey H. & Frandsen, Brigham R., 2010. "Did Vietnam veterans get sicker in the 1990s? The complicated effects of military service on self-reported health," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 824-837, December.
    7. Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise & Tekin, Erdal & Greve, Jane, 2016. "Labor market effects of intrauterine exposure to nutritional deficiency: Evidence from administrative data on Muslim immigrants in Denmark," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 196-209.
    8. Imbens, Guido & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in The Netherlands," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 207-215, April.
    9. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan & Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2012. "Evaluating the labor-market effects of compulsory military service," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 814-829.
    10. Dennis Y. C. Leung & Jeanie K. Y. Tsui & Feng Chen & Wing-Kin Yip & Lilian L. P. Vrijmoed & Chun-Ho Liu, 2011. "Effects of Urban Vegetation on Urban Air Quality," Landscape Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 173-188, April.
    11. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
    12. Leigh, Andrew & Ryan, Chris, 2008. "Estimating returns to education using different natural experiment techniques," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 149-160, April.
    13. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
    14. Michael Neugart & Henry Ohlsson, 2013. "Economic incentives and the timing of births: evidence from the German parental benefit reform of 2007," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 87-108, January.
    15. Lee, Chanyoung & Orazem, Peter F., 2010. "High school employment, school performance, and college entry," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 29-39, February.
    16. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Ethan G. Lewis, 2006. "Schooling and the Armed Forces Qualifying Test: Evidence from School-Entry Laws," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
    17. Kelly Bedard & Olivier Deschênes, 2006. "The Long-Term Impact of Military Service on Health: Evidence from World War II and Korean War Veterans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 176-194, March.
    18. Eric Maurin & Julie Moschion, 2009. "The Social Multiplier and Labor Market Participation of Mothers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 251-272, January.
    19. Dobkin, Carlos & Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "Do school entry laws affect educational attainment and labor market outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 40-54, February.
    20. Paloyo, Alfredo R., 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 206, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    21. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472.
    22. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Split-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Return to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 225-235, April.
    23. Sara LaLumia & James M. Sallee & Nicholas Turner, 2015. "New Evidence on Taxes and the Timing of Birth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 258-293, May.
    24. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    25. Victor Levy, 1986. "Seasonal fertility cycles in rural Egypt: Behavioral and biological linkages," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 23(1), pages 13-30, February.
    26. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    27. Sebastian Galiani & Martín A. Rossi & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2011. "Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentine Draft Lottery," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 119-136, April.
    28. Patrick J. McEwan & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2008. "The Benefits of Delayed Primary School Enrollment: Discontinuity Estimates Using Exact Birth Dates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    29. Todd E. Elder & Darren H. Lubotsky, 2009. "Kindergarten Entrance Age and Children’s Achievement: Impacts of State Policies, Family Background, and Peers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    30. Torun, Huzeyfe & Tumen, Semih, 2016. "The effects of compulsory military service exemption on education and labor market outcomes: Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 16-35.
    31. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Working Papers 834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    32. Huzeyfe Torun, 2018. "Compulsory Schooling and Early Labor Market Outcomes in a Middle-Income Country," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 277-305, September.
    33. repec:arz:wpaper:eres2011-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    34. Aydemir, Abdurrahman & Murat, Kirdar, 2013. "Estimates of the Return to Schooling in a Developing Country: Evidence from a Major Policy Reform in Turkey," MPRA Paper 51938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    35. Resul Cesur & Naci H. Mocan, 2013. "Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country," NBER Working Papers 19769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Murat G. Kirdar, 2017. "Low Wage Returns to Schooling in a Developing Country: Evidence from a Major Policy Reform in Turkey," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(6), pages 1046-1086, December.
    37. Vegard Skirbekk & Hans-Peter Kohler & Alexia Prskawetz, 2004. "Birth month, school graduation, and the timing of births and marriages," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(3), pages 547-568, August.
    38. Levin, Jesse & Plug, Erik J. S., 1999. "Instrumenting education and the returns to schooling in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 521-534, November.
    39. Plug, Erik J. S., 2001. "Season of birth, schooling and earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 641-660, October.
    40. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
    41. Lars Lefgren & Frank McIntyre, 2006. "The Relationship between Women's Education and Marriage Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 787-830, October.
    42. Douglas Massey & Brendan Mullan, 1984. "A demonstration of the effect of seasonal migration on fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 21(4), pages 501-517, November.
    43. Pushpa Trivedi & Rajmal, 2011. "Growth Effects of Fiscal Policy of India States," Millennial Asia, , vol. 2(2), pages 141-162, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bahadir Dursun & Resul Cesur & Inas Rashad Kelly, 2017. "The Value of Mandating Maternal Education in a Developing Country," NBER Working Papers 23492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Torun, Huzeyfe & Tumen, Semih, 2016. "The effects of compulsory military service exemption on education and labor market outcomes: Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 16-35.
    3. Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2017. "The Effect of Paid Vacation on Health: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 2017:13, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 21 Jun 2020.
    4. Anne (A.C.) Gielen & Esmee Zwiers, 2018. "Biology and the gender gap in educational performance - The role of prenatal testosterone in test scores," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-086/V, Tinbergen Institute.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
    2. Rietveld, Cornelius A. & Webbink, Dinand, 2016. "On the genetic bias of the quarter of birth instrument," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 137-146.
    3. Elliott Fan & Jin-Tan Liu & Yen-Chien Chen, 2017. "Is the Quarter of Birth Endogenous? New Evidence from Taiwan, the US, and Indonesia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(6), pages 1087-1124, December.
    4. Torun, Huzeyfe, 2019. "Ex-ante labor market effects of compulsory military service," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 90-110.
    5. Huang, Cheng & Zhang, Shiying & Zhao, Qingguo, 2020. "The early bird catches the worm? School entry cutoff and the timing of births," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    6. Torun, Huzeyfe & Tumen, Semih, 2016. "The effects of compulsory military service exemption on education and labor market outcomes: Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 16-35.
    7. Wael S. Moussa, 2017. "Closer to the Finish Line? Compulsory Attendance, Grade Attainment, and High School Graduation," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(1), pages 28-53, Winter.
    8. Janice Compton & Lindsay M. Tedds, 2016. "Effects of the 2001 Extension of Paid Parental Leave Provisions on Birth Seasonality in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 42(1), pages 65-82, March.
    9. Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Elder, Todd, 2010. "Suburban legend: School cutoff dates and the timing of births," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 826-841, October.
    10. Leuven, Edwin & Lindahl, Mikael & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2010. "Expanding schooling opportunities for 4-year-olds," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 319-328, June.
    11. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2016. "First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(3), pages 225-250, Summer.
    12. Attar, Itay & Cohen-Zada, Danny, 2018. "The effect of school entrance age on educational outcomes: Evidence using multiple cutoff dates and exact date of birth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 38-57.
    13. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
    14. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2012. "Can Compulsory Military Service Raise Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 57-93, October.
    15. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2011. "Can Compulsory Military Service Increase Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," NBER Working Papers 17694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Grace Arnold & Briggs Depew, 2018. "School starting age and long‐run health in the United States," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(12), pages 1904-1920, December.
    17. Rashmi Barua & Kevin Lang, 2009. "School Entry, Educational Attainment and Quarter of Birth: A Cautionary Tale of LATE," NBER Working Papers 15236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Rafael Matta & Rafael P. Ribas & Breno Sampaio & Gustavo R. Sampaio, 2016. "The effect of age at school entry on college admission and earnings: a regression-discontinuity approach," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, December.
    19. Görlitz, Katja & Penny, Merlin & Tamm, Marcus, 2019. "The long-term effect of age at school entry on competencies in adulthood," Ruhr Economic Papers 792, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    20. Pierre Mouganie, 2020. "Conscription and the Returns to Education: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 122(3), pages 1112-1139, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    season of birth; education; earnings; family background;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:57. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Office). General contact details of provider: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.