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Deciphering the fluctuations of high frequency birth rates

Claudiu Herteliu, Peter Richmond and Bertrand M. Roehner

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 2018, vol. 509, issue C, 1046-1061

Abstract: Here the term “high frequency” refers to daily, weekly or monthly birth data. The fluctuations of daily birth numbers show a succession of spikes and dips which, at least at first sight, looks almost as random as white noise. However in recent times several studies were published, including by the present authors, which have given better insight into how birth is affected by exogenous factors. This paper demonstrates how it is possible to examine the adverse effects of catastrophes such as famines, diseases, earthquakes and heat waves on conceptions and link these to subsequent large anomalous troughs in the birth rate. Using both contemporary and historical data we also explore the changes over time which have taken place in birth rate troughs that arise from religious edicts within the Orthodox and Catholic populations in Romania and France respectively. These as well as other effects raise the hope that we will soon be able to “read” and interpret birth rate patterns in the same manner as for example Egyptologists may decipher hieroglyphs.

Keywords: Birth; Fluctuations; Holidays; Religion; Mass mortality; Heat waves (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:509:y:2018:i:c:p:1046-1061