"U.S. births fell in 2008, probably because of the recession," announces
an Associated Press report. That makes intuitive sense, so not too many have questioned it. But Paul Krugman
, noting someone's apt observation that pregnancies last nine months, is perplexed:
aside, to reduce births in the first three quarters of 2008 in response
to a recession that started in Dec. 2007 would have taken pretty
impressive rational expectations.
Is it possible parents
instinctively responded to hints of a recession before even economists
knew how bad it was going to be? It sounds absurd. So what explains the trend? In Krugman's words: "What are we missing?"
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