Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Birth timing and Valentines Day

Andrew Gelman points me to this new paper that examines birth rates on Valentines Day and Halloween. Given the day, here is what happens on Valentines Day.

[Interesting date indicator in original.] From this it looks like people just plan to have their births on Valentines Day. Unlike other days where Andrew Leigh and I found birth timing effects (April 1 and Feb 29, for instance), it is harder to come up with a theory for this but I’m happy for people to try in the comments. That said, I can’t help but wonder if doctors were scheduling timing that day to make sure they weren’t interrupted in the evening or could take a quieter Feb 15.