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
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Skirbekk, V., Kohler, H.P. and Prskawetz, A. (2003) Completing education and the timing of births and marriage: Findings from a birth-month experiment in Sweden. Working Paper WP-2003-017, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock.
Breznitz, Z. and Telesch, T. (1989) The effect of school entrance age on academic achievement and social-emotional adjustment of children: Follow-up study of fourth graders. Psychology in the Schools, 26, 62-68.
Sharp, C. (1995) What’s age got to do with it? A study of patterns of school entry and the impact of season of birth on school attainment. Educational Research, 37, 251-265. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0013188950370304
Skirbekk, V. (2005) Why not start younger? Implications of the timing and the duration of schooling for fertility, human capital, productivity and public pensions. International Standard Book, IIASA, Vienna.