‘WHEN WERE YOU BORN’? Ganes Kesari B VP, DeliveryBIRTHDAYS
Birthdays in the US • Most people are born in Aug & Sep, with 16- • Few people are born on the 1st of April - Sep being the most popular don’t want your kid born on Fool’s Day? • Very few are born during holidays – people • Few people are born on the 13th of any don’t like to spoil their holidays? month – unlucky? • New Year and Christmas are amongst the • Plenty are born on Valentine’s Day and least popular birthdays St Patrick’s day • Instead, most appear to be conceived during this holiday period Data source: Amitabh Chandra, Harvard University
Birthdays in India • Almost everyone’s born between May and • Now, we compare birthdays against June – just before the school opens the marks secured in Class X & XII • Almost no one is born in August – after school … and peaks opens. for Sep-borns • An unusual number of people have round- numbered days as birthdays – 5th, 10th etc. The marks shoot up for Aug borns • January 1st is fairly popular. Other than that, none of the holidays seem to have an effect. Data source: Tamil Nadu School exams board
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PREDICTING MARKS What determines a child’s marks? Do girls score better than boys? Does the choice of subject matter?EDUCATION Does the medium of instruction matter? Does community or religion matter? Does the first letter of their name matter? Does their sun sign matter?
… and peaks forBased on the results of the 20 lakh Sep-bornsstudents taking the Class XII exams The marks shootat Tamil Nadu over the last 3 years, up for Aug bornsit appears that the month you wereborn in can make a difference of asmuch as 120 marks out of 1,200. 120 marks out of 1200 explainable by month of birth If you’re curious: • Girls score 2.5% better than boys • Zoology scores 18% more than Commerce • Teaching English helps 5% more than local languages • Forward communities score 18% over backward • The first letter of the name does NOT matter June borns score the lowest When the cost of answering questions is low, there’s no such thing as a silly question. It’s a matter of letting loose our imagination on datasets like the AERS. An identical pattern was observed in 2009 and 2010…“It’s simply that in Canada the eligibilitycutoff for age-class hockey is January 1. Aboy who turns ten on January 2, then,could be playing alongside someone whodoesn’t turn ten until the end of the year—and at that age, in preadolescence, atwelve-month gap in age represents anenormous difference in physical maturity.” -- Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers … and across districts, gender, subjects, and class X & XII.