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A large literature describes relationships between month of birth, birth weight, and gestation. These relationships are hypothesized to reflect the causal impact of seasonal environmental factors. However, recent work casts doubt on this interpretation by showing that mothers with lower socioeconomic status are more likely to give birth in months that are(More)
There is a well-established positive correlation between life-satisfaction measures and income in individual level cross-sectional data. This paper attempts to provide some evidence on whether this correlation reflects causality running from money to happiness. I use industry wage differentials as instruments for income. This is based on the idea that at(More)
Researchers frequently test identifying assumptions in regression based research designs (which include e.g. instrumental variables or di¤erences-in-di¤erences models) by adding additional control variables on the right hand side of the regression. If such additions do not a¤ect the coe¢ cient of interest (much) a study is presumed to be reliable. We(More)
Unfavorable circumstances in the fetal period have been shown to have impacts over the entire life course. Usually, these impacts are identified via catastrophes affecting cohorts such as pandemics, famines, and natural or manmade disasters. This study is the first to demonstrate long term effects of seasonal influenza, a more moderate threat that recurs(More)
An emerging economic literature has found evidence that wellbeing follows a U-shape over age. Some theories have assumed that the U-shape is caused by unmet expectations that are felt painfully in midlife but beneficially abandoned and experienced with less regret during old age. In a unique panel of 132,609 life satisfaction expectations matched to(More)
There is a large amount of cross-sectional evidence for a midlife low in the life cycle of human happiness and well-being (a 'U shape'). Yet no genuinely longitudinal inquiry has uncovered evidence for a U-shaped pattern. Thus some researchers believe the U is a statistical artefact. We reexamine this fundamental cross-disciplinary question. We suggest a(More)
Many literatures investigate the causal impact of income on economic outcomes, for example in the context of intergenerational transmission or well-being and health. Some studies have proposed to use employer wage differentials and in particular industry affiliation as an instrument for income. We demonstrate that industry affiliation is correlated with(More)
Scholars have been examining the relationship between fertility and unemployment for more than a century. Most studies find that fertility falls with unemployment in the short run, but it is not known whether these negative effects persist, because women simply may postpone childbearing to better economic times. Using more than 140 million US birth records(More)
The events of 9/11 released a million tons of toxic dust into lower Manhattan, an unparalleled environmental disaster. It is puzzling then that the literature has shown little effect of fetal exposure to the dust. However, inference is complicated by pre-existing differences between the affected mothers and other NYC mothers as well as heterogeneity in(More)