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Maternal Employment and Overweight Children: Does Timing Matter?

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  • Stephanie Von Hinke Kessler Scholder

Abstract

Recent literature has shown consistent evidence of a positive relationship between maternal employment and children’s excess body weight. These studies have mainly focused on the effect of average weekly work hours over the child’s life on its overweight or obesity status. This paper attempts to explore whether the timing of maternal employment with respect to the child’s age is an important factor in this relationship. Data on a nationally representative British birth cohort are used to examine this; the 1958 National Child Development Study. The results show a significant positive correlation between maternal employment at age 7 of the child and the probability that a child is overweight at age 16. Additionally, the analysis shows it is full-time as opposed to part-time employment that increases the child’s weight. Subgroup analysis suggests this effect is driven by the lower socio-economic groups. Various econometric techniques are used to explore possible unobserved heterogeneity, but there is no evidence that the estimates are biased.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 07/12.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:07/12

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  1. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Joan Costa-Fonta & Joan Gil, 2012. "Intergenerational and Socioeconomic Gradients of Child Obesity," Working Papers 2012-11, FEDEA.
  3. 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).
  4. Greve, Jane, 2011. "New results on the effect of maternal work hours on children's overweight status: Does the quality of child care matter?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 579-590, October.
  5. Daniel Miller, 2011. "Maternal Work and Child Overweight and Obesity: The Importance of Timing," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 204-218, June.
  6. Florence Jusot & Sandy Tubeuf & Alain Trannoy, 2010. "Effort or Circumstances: Does the Correlation Matter for Inequality of Opportunity in Health?," Working Papers DT33, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Jul 2010.

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