Does the Month of Birth Influence the Timing of Life Course Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Italy


Social scientists have observed for a long time a negative relationship between the time spent on education and the timing of family formation. Using data from the I.D.E.A. survey (2003), a birth-month experiment on a sample of 3000 young Italian adults is employed in order to explore whether a different month of birth leads to regular differences in life course decisions of young Italians. The results suggest that the “social” age, as determined by the school cohort, rather than the biological age, is an important determinant of the timing of demographic events during the transition to adulthood.

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Cavalli, L. (2014) Does the Month of Birth Influence the Timing of Life Course Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Italy. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 101-118. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.21011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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