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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 2 No. 4 (October 2010)

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The Importance of Being Wanted

Article Citation

Do, Quy-Toan, and Tung D. Phung. 2010. "The Importance of Being Wanted." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2(4): 236-53.

DOI: 10.1257/app.2.4.236

Abstract

We identify birth wantedness as a source of better child outcomes. In Vietnam, the year of birth is widely believed to determine success. As a result, cohorts born in auspicious years are 12 percent larger. Comparing siblings with one another, those of auspicious cohorts are found to have two extra months of schooling. The Vietnamese horoscope being gender-specific, this difference will be shown to be driven by birth planning. Children born in auspicious years are more likely to have been planned, thus benefiting from a more favorable growth environment. (JEL J12, J13, O15, P23, Z13)

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Authors

Do, Quy-Toan (World Bank)
Phung, Tung D. (Indochina Research and Consulting, Hanoi)

JEL Classifications

J12: Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
P23: Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies: Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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