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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Review of Economics and Statistics
Title Season of birth and later outcomes: Old questions, new answers
Volume 95
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 711-724
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3777829/
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.

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