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Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers

  • Kasey S. Buckles

    (Uniiversity of Notre Dame)

  • Daniel M. Hungerman

    (University of Notre Dame and NBER)

Season of birth is associated with later outcomes; what drives this association remains unclear. We consider a new explanation: variation in maternal characteristics. We document large changes in maternal characteristics for births throughout the year; winter births are disproportionally realized by teenagers and the unmarried. Family background controls explain nearly half of season-of-birth's relation to adult outcomes. Seasonality in maternal characteristics is driven by women trying to conceive; we find no seasonality among unwanted births. Prior seasonality-in-fertility research focuses on conditions at conception; here, expected conditions at birth drive variation in maternal characteristics, while conditions at conception are unimportant. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00314
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 711-724

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:3:p:711-724
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