Marginal rates of substitution in everything

Among married women aged 20‐45, we estimate the average marginal willingness to pay (WTP) for a spring birth to be 877 USD. This implies a willingness to trade‐off 560 grams of birth weight to achieve a spring birth. Finally, we estimate that an increase of 1,000 USD in the predicted marginal WTP for a spring birth is associated with a 15 pp increase in the probability of obtaining an actual spring birth.

Here is the full article, from the Journal of Applied Econometrics, by Damian Clarke, Sonia Oreffice, and Climent Quintana-Domeque, via the excellent Kevin Lewis.

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Former American President Bush has officially decided to support President Captain Bolsonaro.

Clearly the really important question is what is the marginal rate of substitution between having a spring birth and supporting Captain Bolsonaro.

There is no substitution whatsoever. One can be born in spring and support President Captain Bolsonaro. As famous revolutionary leader Thomas Paine wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

BTW, Thiago, my remark about MRS was a joke. You just made yourself look like an idiot taking it seriously.

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I'm a Christmas baby myself. No, I was not born on Christmas Day.

I pictured the homeless guy look across the headlights, radiating unpassable knowledge, the headlights and the stars, shining, each a different light, one, them, streaming with luminescence, the other singular, adrift. The headlights are white money, au-current, stiff like licorice, the sane thing, grazing, greasy, unquestionable. The stars are empty, although not like the moon; they are life-like. Yet less bright, the stars provide the French, lessons still unlearned. To South High Street, right? the driver said.

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Do women prefer spring births or is the paper finding spring births are more often unplanned? Is there some reason spring births are preferable? I gather being pregnant during the summer is not fun but I'm not quite sure I get the conclusion.

4 months of maternity leave from April to August

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Try being in the final trimester during the summer, and then get back to me.

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Another advantage might that there's more sunlight hours in spring and summer, so it's easier to get the baby's circadian rhythms in line with the day, via sunlight exposure.

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Don't put too much stock in this result. Here is how they got those numbers: "We also elicit the willingness to pay for season of birth through discrete choice experiments implemented on the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform. "

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I know most people seem to want a spring wedding, but if you want a spring birth all you need to do is count backwards nine months. 30 days hath September, so get busy

You say September!? It’s May already. I’m really behind schedule.

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In temperate regions, I have always thought spring births might be an advantage because by the time the infant is >six months old and experiences his first flu season the following fall or winter, he is old enough for his first flu shot. And even absent the shot, the infant is not quite as vulnerable to flu as a 0-6 month old. But I can’t imagine most prospective parents think that way! (speaking as a former pediatrician)

It’s probably more about “how old will they be relative to their school cohort?” My wife is a late Dec baby and so was almost a full year younger than some of her classmates. Didn’t slow her down but is hard working and smart.

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Haha! Having previously had two winter babies and a summer baby, we just had a "spring baby." My wife just mentioned how nice it is having a newborn in the spring, when you can just walk outside with the babe with a minimum of fuss. Relatedly, I have been taking and enjoying long 4am walks when he won't sleep---which I never did with the earlier three kids!

What mechanism does the paper suggest?

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Both of my kids were fall births. The first was during a boomlet after the exceptionally cold winter of 2014-2015. The second was because I took a carribean vacation in the middle of winter. I've always been under the impression that fall babies were more common because people get bored and have more sex in cold weather.

But yes, if you can really plan it that well, it would be nicer to be more pregnant in winter.

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"we estimate the average marginal willingness to pay " because people, umm, say so. Yet there's often a dramatic gap between what people say they are willing to pay for and what they actually choose to pay for. With no way to test what this is really worth, why should we take this estimate seriously?

Besides, if Darwin had wanted you to have spring births you'd have a season when you were in rut (as just about all other animals that reproduce sexually do) instead of being in rut pretty much all the time.

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I wasn't aware that spring babies had lower birth rates (do mothers showing a willingness to pay for a spring birth know this? Or would giving them that information temper their WTP?). I tried to look into this and came across an article:

https://www.health.com/family/spring-baby-facts

Which was odd because it asserted that in the US, November/December babies were the youngest in their class (thus most likely to be diagnosed with ADHD), and March/April babies were more likely to be CEOs (because they were the oldest in their classes and groomed for leadership). This is just factually untrue. The oldest kids in your class will have August/Sept/Oct birthdays and the youngest kids will have May/June/July birthdays...depending on when parents decide to enroll kids in Kindergarten.

First sentence should say "lower birth weights" not "rates"

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