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Child care subsidies and childhood obesity

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Author Info

  • Chris Herbst

    ()

  • Erdal Tekin

    ()

Abstract

Child care subsidies play a critical role in facilitating the transition of disadvantaged mothers from welfare to work. However, little is known about the influence of these policies on children's health and well-being. In this paper, we study the impact of subsidy receipt on low-income children's weight outcomes in the fall and spring of kindergarten. The goals of our empirical analysis are twofold. We first utilize standard OLS and fixed effects methods to explore body mass index as well as measures of overweight and obesity. We then turn to quantile regression to address the possibility that subsidy receipt has heterogeneous effects on children's weight at different points in the BMI distribution. Results suggest that subsidy receipt is associated with increases in BMI and a greater likelihood of being overweight and obese. We also find substantial variation in subsidy effects across the BMI distribution. In particular, child care subsidies have no effect on BMI at the lower end of the distribution, inconsistent effects in the middle of the distribution, and large effects at the top of the distribution. Our results point to the use of non-parental child care, particularly centerbased services, as the key mechanism through which subsidies influence children's weight outcomes.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11150-010-9087-0
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 349-378

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:349-378

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=109451

Related research

Keywords: Obesity; Child care; Subsidy; Body mass index; Quantile regression; I12; I18; J13;

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References

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  1. Naci H. Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2009. "Obesity, Self-esteem and Wages," NBER Working Papers 15101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, November.
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  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Herbst, Chris M., 2008. "Who are the eligible non-recipients of child care subsidies?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1037-1054, September.
  6. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Working Paper Series WP-02-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Erdal Tekin, 2004. "Child Care Subsidy Receipt, Employment, and Child Care Choices of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 10459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Tekin, Erdal, 2003. "Child Care Subsidies, Wages, And Employment of Single Mothers," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 200, Royal Economic Society.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chris M. Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2012. "Child Care Subsidies, Maternal Well-Being, and Child-Parent Interactions: Evidence from Three Nationally Representative Datasets," NBER Working Papers 17774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brodeur, Abel & Connolly, Marie, 2012. "Do Higher Childcare Subsidies Improve Parental Well-being? Evidence from Québec's Family Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 6804, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Chris M. Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2011. "The Geographic Accessibility of Child Care Subsidies and Evidence on the Impact of Subsidy Receipt on Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 17471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anderson, Patricia M., 2012. "Parental employment, family routines and childhood obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 340-351.
  5. Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2010. "The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Child Well-Being: Evidence from Geographic Variation in the Distance to Social Service Agencies," IZA Discussion Papers 5102, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Ahrens, Wolfgang & De Henauw, Stefaan & Eiben, Gabriele & Fernandez-Alvira, Juan M. & Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos & Kovacs, Eva & Lauria, Fabio, 2013. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A European perspective," FZID Discussion Papers 73-2013, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  7. Clive R. Belfield & Inas Rashad Kelly, 2012. "The Benefits of Breast Feeding across the Early Years of Childhood," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 251 - 277.
  8. Nie, Peng & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2014. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity in China: Evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey," FZID Discussion Papers 87-2014, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  9. Johnson, Anna D. & Herbst, Chris M., 2013. "Can we trust parental reports of child care subsidy receipt?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 984-993.
  10. Charles L. Baum & Shin-Yi Chou, 2011. "The Socio-Economic Causes of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 17423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Belfield, Clive R. & Kelly, Inas Rashad, 2013. "Early education and health outcomes of a 2001 U.S. Birth Cohort," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 310-325.

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