Search the Site

The Prom Effect?

Researchers have long puzzled over the relatively poor health and education outcomes for babies born in the winter months. Past explanations have focused on school attendance laws, vitamin D exposure, and other environmental factors, but economists Kasey Buckles and Daniel Hungerman have found an overlooked explanation. They argue that less-educated women seem to have their children in winter, a fact that may explain some of the phenomenon. Our own Daniel Hamermesh says of the paper: “It means you have to think about things more than you want to think.” Buckles and Hungerman aren’t exactly sure why socioeconomic background drives the season of conception, but they offer the “prom” effect as one possible explanation: “January is, after all, about nine months after many of these soirées.” [%comments]