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Month of Birth and Child Height in 40 Countries

Joseph Cummins, Neha Agarwal (), Anaka Aiyar, Arpita Bhattacharjee (), Christian Gunadi (), Deepak Singhania (), Matthew Taylor () and Evan Wigton-Jones ()
Additional contact information
Arpita Bhattacharjee: University of California, Riverside
Christian Gunadi: University of California, Riverside
Deepak Singhania: University of California, Riverside
Matthew Taylor: University of California, Riverside
Evan Wigton-Jones: University of California, Riverside

No 201703, Working Papers from University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics

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 spurious correlations 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)
Pages: 23 Pages
Date: 2017-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-hea
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https://economics.ucr.edu/repec/ucr/wpaper/201703.pdf First version, 2017 (application/pdf)

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