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Month of birth and child height in 40 countries

Neha Agarwal (), Anaka Aiyar, Arpita Bhattacharjee, Joseph Cummins, Christian Gunadi, Deepak Singhania, Matthew Taylor and Evan Wigton-Jones

Economics Letters, 2017, vol. 157, issue C, 10-13

Abstract: Lokshin and Radyakin (2012) present evidence that month of birth affects child physical growth in India. We replicate these correlations using the same data and demonstrate that they are the result of a spurious relationship between month of birth, age-at-measurement and child growth patterns in developing countries. We repeat the analysis on 39 additional countries and show that there is no evidence of seasonal birth effects in child height-for-age z-score in any country. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the Demographic and Health Survey data used to estimate the correlation is not suitable for the task due to a previously unrecognized source of measurement error in child month of birth. We document results from several papers that should be re-interpreted in light of this issue.

Keywords: Child health; Month of birth; Anthropometrics; Demographic & health survey (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 J13 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:10-13

DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2017.05.006

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