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New results on the effect of maternal work hours on children's overweight status: Does the quality of child care matter?

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  • Greve, Jane

Abstract

Existing empirical research on child overweight derives mainly from North America and points at rising maternal employment as an explanation for the increasing trend in child weight. These results cannot be replicated in Denmark, where an increase in maternal work hours does not increase the likelihood of weight problems for their children. This paper tests four possible explanations for this difference: (1) the effect of maternal employment on child obesity is heterogeneous and varies according to the country's weight distribution; (2) the quality of child care is on average higher in Denmark; (3) the counterfactual care provided by Danish mothers is of lower quality; and (4) Danish fathers contribute significantly to their children's health. This paper finds evidence consistent with the hypotheses that Danish child care and fathers play a significant role in explaining the absence of a significant relationship between maternal work hours and children's overweight status.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:5:p:579-590
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Courtemanche, Charles & Tchernis, Rusty & Zhou, Xilin, 2017. "Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility," IZA Discussion Papers 10739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Meyer, Sophie-Charlotte, 2016. "Maternal employment and childhood overweight in Germany," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 84-102.
    3. Ahmed Rashad & Mesbah Sharaf, 2017. "Does Maternal Employment Affect Child Nutrition Status? New Evidence From Egypt," Working Papers 1149, Economic Research Forum, revised 11 Jan 2003.
    4. Mendolia, Silvia, 2014. "Maternal Working Hours and the Well-Being of Adolescent Children," IZA Discussion Papers 8391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. Thérèse McDonnell & Orla Doyle, 2014. "Maternal Employment, childcare and childhood overweight during infancy," Working Papers 201411, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    7. Sophie-Charlotte Meyer, 2015. "Maternal Employment and Childhood Overweight in Germany," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP15005, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    8. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Ahrens, Wolfgang & Eiben, Gabriele & M. Fernandéz-Alvira, Juan & Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos & De Henauw, Stefaan & Kovács, Eva & Lauria, Fabio, 2013. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity – A European perspective," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 728-742.
    9. Wencke Gwozdz, 2016. "Is maternal employment related to childhood obesity?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 267-267, June.
    10. Peng Nie & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2014. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity in China: evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(20), pages 2418-2428, July.
    11. Jens Bonke & Jane Greve, 2012. "Children’s health-related life-styles: how parental child care affects them," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 557-572, December.
    12. Rachel Dunifon & Anne Toft Hansen & Sean Nicholson & Lisbeth Palmhøj Nielsen, 2013. "The Effect of Maternal Employment on Children's Academic Performance," NBER Working Papers 19364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Silvia Mendolia, 2016. "Maternal Working Hours and the Well-Being of Adolescent Children: Evidence from British Data," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 566-580, December.

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