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Season of birth and later outcomes : old questions, new answers

Author: Kasey S Buckles; Daniel M Hungerman; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2008.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 14573.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Research has found that season of birth is associated with later health and professional outcomes; what drives this association remains unclear. In this paper we consider a new explanation: that children born at different times in the year are conceived by women with different socioeconomic characteristics. We document large seasonal changes in the characteristics of women giving birth throughout the year in the  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Kasey S Buckles; Daniel M Hungerman; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 285313018
Description: 1 online resource (34 pages) : illustrations, digital.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 14573.
Responsibility: Kasey Buckles, Daniel M. Hungerman.

Abstract:

Research has found that season of birth is associated with later health and professional outcomes; what drives this association remains unclear. In this paper we consider a new explanation: that children born at different times in the year are conceived by women with different socioeconomic characteristics. We document large seasonal changes in the characteristics of women giving birth throughout the year in the United States. Children born in the winter are disproportionally born to women who are more likely to be teenagers and less likely to be married or have a high school degree. We show that controls for family background characteristics can explain up to half of the relationship between season of birth and adult outcomes. We then discuss the implications of this result for using season of birth as an instrumental variable; our findings suggest that, though popular, season-of-birth instruments may produce inconsistent estimates. Finally, we find that some of the seasonality in maternal characteristics is due to summer weather differentially affecting fertility patterns across socioeconomic groups.

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