Dragon Year Superstition, Birth Timing, and Neonatal Health Outcomes
Cheng Huang, Shiying Zhang, Qingguo Zhao, Yan Lin
According to Chinese astrology, each lunar year is symbolized by a zodiac animal, including the Dragon, which represents auspiciousness, power and greatness. Based on high-quality administrative data from birth certificates in Shenzhen, China, we first show that a considerable number of births are shifted from one week before the Dragon year to one week after the Dragon year begins, mainly through vaginal and elective C-sections. Then, we estimate the causal health effects of delaying births but do not find any significant results, as measured by birth weight, Apgar scores, and neonatal mortality.
Dragon superstition, Timing of births, Neonatal health, China