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Food for Thought? Breastfeeding and Child Development

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  • Emla Fitzsimons

    ()
    (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Marcos Vera-Hernández

    ()
    (University College London)

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    Abstract

    We show that children who are born at the weekend or just before are less likely to be breastfed, owing to poorer breastfeeding support services at weekends. We use this variation to estimate the effect of breastfeeding on children’s development for a sample of uncomplicated births from low educated mothers. We find that breastfeeding has large effects on children’s cognitive development, but not on non-cognitive development or health. Regarding mechanisms, we estimate how breastfeeding affects parental investments in the child and the quality of the mother-child relationship.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 14-04.

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    Date of creation: 17 Feb 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1404

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    Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
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    Web page: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/departments/qss/35445.html
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    Related research

    Keywords: Breastfeeding; timing of birth; hospital support; instrumental variables; optimal instruments; cognitive and non-cognitive development; health.;

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    References

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