Brother Sun, Sister Moon: The Lunar Cycle, Sunspots and the Frequency of Births

14 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2010

See all articles by Thomas K. Bauer

Thomas K. Bauer

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen); University of Bochum - Faculty of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stefan Bender

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Jörg Heining

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Christoph M. Schmidt

RWI - Leibniz-Insitut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI Essen); Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: November 1, 2010

Abstract

Based on multivariate linear regression models, we analyze the effect of the lunar cycle and the number of sunspots occurring on a particular day on the number of births using social security data and controlling for a number of other potential confounders. The daily number of births between 1920 and 1989 have been calculated from the full sample of individuals who have been registered at least once in the German social security system. While the lunar cycle does not affect the number of births, the number of sunspots has a positive, albeit small effect on the number of births which is decreasing over time. The empirical results may be explained by medical technological progress making natural influences on births less important over time. This interpretation is supported by the results on the intertemporal influence of weekends and holidays on the frequency of daily births.

Keywords: Daily frequency of births, lunar cycle, sunspots

JEL Classification: I12, J13

Suggested Citation

Bauer, Thomas K. and Bender, Stefan and Heining, Jörg and Schmidt, Christoph M., Brother Sun, Sister Moon: The Lunar Cycle, Sunspots and the Frequency of Births (November 1, 2010). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 225, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1722620 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1722620

Thomas K. Bauer (Contact Author)

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

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Stefan Bender

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

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Jörg Heining

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

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Germany

Christoph M. Schmidt

RWI - Leibniz-Insitut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI Essen) ( email )

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