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The Connection Between Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: Inspecting the Mechanisms

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Author Info

  • Angela Fertig

    ()
    (University of Georgia)

  • Gerhard Glomm

    ()
    (Indiana University)

  • Rusty Tchernis

    ()
    (Indiana University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the channels through which maternal employment affects childhood obesity. We use time diaries and interview responses from the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics which combine information on children’s time allocation and mother’s labor force participation. Our empirical strategy involves estimating the effect of children’s activities and meal routines on BMI, estimating the effect of maternal employment on these activities and routines and then combining these two estimates. We find that maternal employment affects child weight through two main mechanisms – supervision and nutrition, however, the particular channels vary by mother’s education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington in its series Caepr Working Papers with number 2006-020.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inu:caeprp:2006020

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Keywords: Childhood Obesity; Labor Supply; Time Allocations;

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References

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  1. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children," NBER Working Papers 8770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," IZA Discussion Papers 1673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Classen, Timothy & Hokayem, Charles, 2005. "Childhood influences on youth obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 165-187, July.
  7. Phipps, Shelley A. & Lethbridge, Lynn & Burton, Peter, 2006. "Long-run consequences of parental paid work hours for child overweight status in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 977-986, February.
  8. John Cawley & Feng Liu, 2007. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: A Search for Mechanisms in Time Use Data," NBER Working Papers 13600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jayachandran N. Variyam & James Blaylock & Biing-Hwan Lin & Katherine Ralston & David Smallwood, 1999. "Mother's Nutrition Knowledge and Children's Dietary Intakes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(2), pages 373-384.
  10. Baum II, Charles L. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2009. "Age, socioeconomic status and obesity growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 635-648, May.
  11. John Cawley & Chad D. Meyerhoefer & David Newhouse, 2005. "The Impact of State Physical Education Requirements on Youth Physical Activity and Overweight," NBER Working Papers 11411, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Courtemanche, Charles, 2008. "Working Yourself to Death? The Relationship Between Work Hours and Obesity," MPRA Paper 25324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change," Working Papers 9912, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  14. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher, 2006. "Reading, Writing, and Refreshments: Are School Finances Contributing to Children’s Obesity?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  15. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
  16. Levine, David I. & Rothman, Dov, 2006. "Does trade affect child health?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 538-554, May.
  17. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," NBER Working Papers 4979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Zhang, Qi & Wang, Youfa, 2004. "Socioeconomic inequality of obesity in the United States: do gender, age, and ethnicity matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1171-1180, March.
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