May 222013

Want kids some day? 😉 What if not every toddler is born equal and that there is a secret formula for making elite babies? I apologize in advance because the point of this post is to try and use probability to potentially give our future offspring a competitive advantage in life over their peers, and by the nature of the subject some parts of this article may contain offensive stereotypes or racism.

The Birth Date Effect
13_05_soccergameThe University of BC published a study that shows January and February babies are almost twice as likely to become CEOs than those who are born later in the year. The study investigated the birth-date effect in a sample of 375 CEOs from S&P 500 companies. Older students born earlier in the year are singled out as leaders throughout their school life and tend to do better than the youngest, who might be less developed. This Relative Age effect (RAE) is well documented in the world of sports as well. In an elite hockey team the best 40% of the players will likely be born between January and March. Early success is often rewarded with leadership roles and enriched learning opportunities, leading to future advantages that are magnified throughout life 🙂 Even the BBC believes there is evidence that children born in the Summer months suffer in school.

The Mixed Race Effect
13_05_weddingSome studies suggest mixed-race people are more attractive and disproportionately successful in many professions. According to Darwin’s hypothesis on heterosis, crossbreeding leads to offspring that are genetically fitter than their parents. Although mixed-race people make up a small proportion of the population, they are over-represented at the top level of a number of meritocratic professions. Halle Berry, Keanu Reeves (quarter Chinese,) Lewis Hamilton, Tiger Woods, Steve Jobs (half Arab), Just to name a few.  Not sure why I and many of my friends find mixed-race people attractive but studies suggest that good looking people do in fact earn more money.

The Name Effect
Are some names more successful than others? Apparently yes according to the online job site TheLadders which analyzed the first names of their 6 million members against variables such as industry, salary level, and location. They found that people with shorter names make more money than those with longer ones. The top 10, highest-paid, executive names earn, on average, 10%more than other names. And unusual names such as Apple or Moonbeam and names that sound African American such as Tyronne and Jamal were not viewed as positively compared to more common names like John and Susan. They tested 24 pairs of similar names like Steve and Stephen, Bill and William, Sara and Sarah, etc, and in all but one case those with shorter names earned higher pay. They’ve concluded that every extra letter in a person’s first name may reduce his or her annual salary by $3,600. They’ve even identified the top 5 highest paid female and male names in their study.
Female names: Lynn, Melissa, Cathy, Dana, Christine
Male names: Tom, Rob, Dale, Doug, Wayne
This isn’t the first study of its kind either. In 2011, LinkedIn reported that American CEOs do often have short names, or nicknames like Peter, Jack or Tony.


So to ensure that our children will have the best possible start in life we just have to find a partner of a different ethnicity than ourselves, get really frisky in April and May (゜o゜), and name our kids something like Cathy or Rob 😀 Then statistically our kids would have a better chance than most others to be top in their class, better leaders, more athletic, and make 6 figure incomes 😉 And now you know the secret to making elite babies :0) As responsible and loving parents-to-be shouldn’t we do our best to give our future children gorgeous looks, and the highest probability for success? (^_^)

I don’t mean to imply that one group of people is superior to another, or that attractive people don’t have to work hard for their success, or that Moonbeam is a dumb name. These studies could simply be statistical realities and NOT factors of causality.  And it goes without saying that attitude, education, temperament, and work ethic will effect one’s life much more than how one is born. But unlike those other factors which are dependent on upbringing, the initial circumstances of how one is brought into this world can never be changed, (except names can be legally changed I suppose) 😀

I don’t believe the results of the studies are conclusive, but if there is even a slight truth to their findings then it’s something interesting to think about isn’t it? I’ll have to remember these points when I have the “baby talk” with my future spouse 😉