The Millennium Bub

Joshua Gans and I have recently been having far too much fun looking at daily Australian data on births and deaths. So far, we’ve written five papers on various topics, which I’ll be talking about over the next few months.

First cab off the rank is “The Millennium Bub“, a paper motivated by the fact that January 1, 2000 was regarded by many people as the most significant date in the past century. So did it affect conceptions, births or deaths? We find that the first few weeks of January 2000 saw a rise in conceptions (up 3-4 percent), births (up 5-12 percent), and perhaps even deaths (up 3-4 percent, though not statistically significant).

Coauthoring with a blogger feels a bit like that moment after a Premier’s Conference, when politicians from opposing parties rush to give the media their spin on the agreement they’ve just signed. Here’s Joshua’s spin.

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One Response to The Millennium Bub

  1. Christine says:

    It is really not reasonable to have one post suggesting time management techniques for procrastinators, and another talking about god knows how many papers you’re writing.

    Births up 5-12 % in Jan 00 is huge. The implied Sept birth effect seems quite large too. I gather there was a big increase in births in Canada after the Quebec ice storm in 1998 (?) and after the blackout that hit ON and much of the US a few years back, suggesting that you need to worry about the value of outside options in understanding conception.

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