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New results on the effect of maternal work hours on children's overweight status: Does the quality of child care matter?

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  • Greve, Jane

Abstract

Existing empirical research on child overweight derives mainly from North America and points at rising maternal employment as an explanation for the increasing trend in child weight. These results cannot be replicated in Denmark, where an increase in maternal work hours does not increase the likelihood of weight problems for their children. This paper tests four possible explanations for this difference: (1) the effect of maternal employment on child obesity is heterogeneous and varies according to the country's weight distribution; (2) the quality of child care is on average higher in Denmark; (3) the counterfactual care provided by Danish mothers is of lower quality; and (4) Danish fathers contribute significantly to their children's health. This paper finds evidence consistent with the hypotheses that Danish child care and fathers play a significant role in explaining the absence of a significant relationship between maternal work hours and children's overweight status.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 579-590

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:5:p:579-590

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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Keywords: Child overweight Maternal employment Maternal work hours Child care;

References

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  1. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Mette Verner, 2008. "PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE: The impact of Nordic countries’ family friendly policies on employment, wages, and children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 65-89, March.
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  17. Anna Zhu, 2007. "The Effect of Maternal Employment on the Likelihood of a Child Being Overweight," Discussion Papers 2007-17, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peng Nie & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2014. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity in China: evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(20), pages 2418-2428, July.
  2. Cawley, John & Liu, Feng, 2012. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A search for mechanisms in time use data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 352-364.
  3. Jens Bonke & Jane Greve, 2012. "Children’s health-related life-styles: how parental child care affects them," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 557-572, December.
  4. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Ahrens, Wolfgang & De Henauw, Stefaan & Eiben, Gabriele & Fernández-Alvira, Juan M. & Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos & Kovács, Eva & Lauria, Fab, 2013. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: A European Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 7371, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Silvia Mendolia, 2014. "Maternal working hours and the well-being of adolescent children," Economics Working Papers wp14-01, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  6. Rachel Dunifon & Anne Toft Hansen & Sean Nicholson & Lisbeth Palmhøj Nielsen, 2013. "The Effect of Maternal Employment on Children’s Academic Performance," NBER Working Papers 19364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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