The winter’s tale: season of birth impacts on children in China

Pushkar Maitra, Nidhiya Menon, Chau Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper examines the effect of season of birth on height and cognitive and noncognitive skills of Chinese children. We find that the child’s season of birth has a significant impact on the height of girls aged less than 5 years in agricultural households: girls born in winter are 0.4 standard deviations shorter compared with girls born in other seasons. We find, however, that this relative height differential does not translate to deficits in cognitive and noncognitive skills when girls are adolescents aged 10–15 years. We show that compensating investments by parents, manifested through higher parental expectations regarding educational attainment for poorly endowed winter-born girls, may be an explanation for why the initial height disadvantage does not have lasting negative implications when girls are older.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages58
JournalEconomic Development and Cultural Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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