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Does the Lunar Cycle Affect Birth and Deaths?

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua S. Gans
  • Andrew Leigh

Abstract

There is a commonplace notion that full moons affect natality and mortality. To test this theory, we obtain daily births and deaths data from Australia, covering all 10,592 days from 1 January 1975 to 31 December 2003. We find that full moons are not associated with any significant change in the number of conceptions, births, or deaths. Moreover, our standard errors are sufficiently tight to make it possible to rule out even modest positive or negative effects of the lunar cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Does the Lunar Cycle Affect Birth and Deaths?," CEPR Discussion Papers 532, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:532
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP532.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    conceptions; births; deaths; timing; lunar cycle; full moon;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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