IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A search for mechanisms in time use data

  • Cawley, John
  • Liu, Feng

A substantial body of research documents that maternal employment is associated with childhood obesity. This paper explores possible mechanisms for that correlation in the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). We find that maternal employment is associated with working mothers spending, per day, 4 fewer minutes grocery shopping, 17 fewer minutes cooking, 10 fewer minutes eating with children, 12 fewer minutes playing with children, 4 fewer minutes supervising children, and 37 fewer minutes caring for children. The differences tend to be greatest for mothers with young children (age 0–5 years). We explore the extent to which these findings differ by day of the week, whether a partner or spouse is present in the household, whether the mother works non-standard hours, and socioeconomic status. Only a small percentage (about 15%) of the fewer minutes spent in these activities by working mothers appears to be offset by increases in time by husbands and partners. These findings suggest plausible mechanisms for the association between maternal employment and childhood obesity.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X12000652
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 352-364

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:4:p:352-364
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2007. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children: Does Timing Matter?," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/180, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Jones, Andrew M., 2000. "Health econometrics," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 265-344 Elsevier.
  4. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  5. John Cawley & Chad Meyerhoefer, 2010. "The Medical Care Costs of Obesity: An Instrumental Variables Approach," NBER Working Papers 16467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2010. "Incentives, time use and BMI: The roles of eating, grazing and goods," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 2-15, March.
  8. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2008. "Maternal employment and adolescent development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 958-983, October.
  9. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
  10. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1993. "Labor Supply, Household Production and Intra-Family Welfare Distribution," Papers 248, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Classen, Timothy & Hokayem, Charles, 2005. "Childhood influences on youth obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 165-187, July.
  13. Stewart, Jay, 2013. "Tobit or not Tobit?," Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, IOS Press, issue 3, pages 263-290.
  14. Courtemanche Charles, 2009. "Longer Hours and Larger Waistlines? The Relationship between Work Hours and Obesity," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-33, May.
  15. Yee Fei Chia, 2008. "Maternal labour supply and childhood obesity in Canada: evidence from the NLSCY," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 217-242, February.
  16. 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.
  17. Bolin, Kristian & Jacobson, Lena & Lindgren, Bjorn, 2001. "The family as the health producer -- when spouses are Nash-bargainers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 349-362, May.
  18. Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1996. "Collective Labor Supply and Household Production," Papers 301, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  19. Courtney C. Coile, 2004. "Health Shocks and Couples' Labor Supply Decisions," NBER Working Papers 10810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
  21. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408 Elsevier.
  22. Courtemanche, Charles, 2008. "Working Yourself to Death? The Relationship Between Work Hours and Obesity," MPRA Paper 25324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  23. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  24. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  25. Jessica Wisdom & Julie S. Downs & George Loewenstein, 2010. "Promoting Healthy Choices: Information versus Convenience," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 164-78, April.
  26. Katharine G. Abraham & Aaron Maitland & Suzanne M. Bianchi, 2006. "Non-response in the American Time Use Survey: Who Is Missing from the Data and How Much Does It Matter?," NBER Technical Working Papers 0328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. repec:mpr:mprres:6209 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Brown, Judith E. & Broom, Dorothy H. & Nicholson, Jan M. & Bittman, Michael, 2010. "Do working mothers raise couch potato kids? Maternal employment and children's lifestyle behaviours and weight in early childhood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1816-1824, June.
  29. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2005. "Data Watch: The American Time Use Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 221-232, Winter.
  30. Lin, Biing-Hwan & Frazao, Elizabeth & Guthrie, Joanne F., 1999. "Away-From-Home Foods Increasingly Important to Quality of American Diet," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33733, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  31. 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.
  32. Angela Fertig & Gerhard Glomm & Rusty Tchernis, 2006. "The Connection Between Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: Inspecting the Mechanisms," Caepr Working Papers 2006-020, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  33. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John & Schmeiser, Maximilian D., 2009. "The timing of the rise in U.S. obesity varies with measure of fatness," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 307-318, December.
  34. Leibowitz, Arleen A., 2004. "The demand for health and health concerns after 30 years," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 663-671, July.
  35. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
  36. Emma García & José M. Labeaga & Ana Carolina Ortega Masagué, 2006. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity in Spain," Working Papers 2006-17, FEDEA.
  37. Jacobson, Lena, 2000. "The family as producer of health -- an extended grossman model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 611-637, September.
  38. Eric Johnson & Melayne Morgan McInnes & Judith A. Shinogle, 2006. "What is the Economic Cost of Overweight Children?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 171-187, Winter.
  39. Bolin, Kristian & Jacobson, Lena & Lindgren, Bjorn, 2002. "The family as the health producer--when spouses act strategically," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 475-495, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Papers and articles using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS)

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:4:p:352-364. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.