The Importance of Being Wanted
We identify birth wantedness as a source of better child outcomes. In Vietnam, the year of birth is widely believed to determine success. As a result, cohorts born in auspicious years are 12 percent larger. Comparing siblings with one another, those of auspicious cohorts are found to have 2 extra months of schooling. The Vietnamese horoscope being gender-specific, this difference will be shown to be driven by birth planning; children born in auspicious years are more likely to have been planned, thus benefitting from a more favorable growth environment. [BREAD Working Paper No. 225]
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